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Attack on Titan is a hugely popular franchise from Japan, spanning a manga series, novels and a two-part live-action film. Western audiences will the franchise best for the anime series, having a big following and has been met with praise by critics and audiences. Deadline has broken the news that Warner Brothers are planning to make their own film adaptation and has British producer David Heyman attached.
Attack on Titan is set 100-years after a mysterious creatures called Titans, 50ft humanoid beasts, appear and start to feast on human flesh. Humanity’s response to is to shield themselves in walled cities and brings a period of peace, but it’s shattered when the Titans break the walls of one city. The series follows Eren Yeager, his foster sister, Mikasa and their childhood friend Armin who join the army to fight the Titans after seeing Eren’s mother being eaten by a Titan.
Heyman is best known for producing the Harry Potter series and has become an important figure in the British film industry. He has parlayed his success with the fantasy series to make critically and commercial hits like Gravity and Paddington. Heyman won the BAFTA award for Best British Film for Gravity and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for the same movie.
Warner Brothers already have the rights to make a live-action adaptation of the seminal anime film Akira. However, the film has been stuck in development hell for years, having writers and directors like George Miller, Christopher Nolan, Jamue Collet-Serra (The Shallows) and Marco Ramirez (Netflix’s Daredevil) attached.
Paramount and Dreamworks are releasing a live-action version Ghost in the Shell, set to be released in March, but it was met with controversy by casting Scarlett Johansson in a role of a character who’s normally Japanese. However, Attack on Titan could escape a similar fate because of its ambiguous sci-fi/fantasy setting could allow it to have an eclectic cast.
Robert Rodriguez is also working on an adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel based on a manga series by Yukito Kishiro. Rodriguez is working from a screenplay by the legendary James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Terminator Genisys) and its cast includes Rosa Salazar (American Horror Story: Murder House, Parenthood), Ed Skrein (Deadpool), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Christoph Waltz and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen). Alita: Battle Angel is set for a July 20, 2018 release date.