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Attack on Titan is getting a Hollywood remake. Well, it had to happen someday.
The apocalyptic manga/anime series is a massive international hit, spawning tons of tie-ins and in, Japan, a duo of live-action movies. But those films didn’t connect with mainstream audiences overseas, which explains why Warner Bros. is forging ahead with a new adaptation.
Based on the lengthy manga series by Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan is a quasi-historical horror series about a world overtaken by man-eating giants called titans. The surviving humans live in a heavily fortified city, defended by a dwindling army as the titans gather outside. It’s disturbing and very violent—think The Walking Dead, but with more anime melodrama—with complex worldbuilding and several ongoing mysteries at its core.
A feature-length adaptation would face two immediate problems: compressing the story into a comprehensible two hours and releasing an explicitly adult-rated blockbuster. Most Hollywood anime adaptations are rated PG-13, aiming for as wide an audience as possible. And while Attack on Titan‘s youthful cast means it could follow a Hunger Games route, most fans would argue that the extreme violence is essential to the story.
Variety reports that It director Andy Muschietti is onboard. That certainly makes sense, since It was an R-rated hit with plenty of gory horror. The film will be produced by David Heyman (Harry Potter), Masi Oka (Mega Man), and Barbara Muschietti (It). No writers have been announced.
Given the popularity of the Attack on Titan anime series, we’re not surprised to see an American remake in the works. The question now is whether this film can break Hollywood’s anime adaptation curse, or whether Attack on Titan will suffer the same dubious fate as Dragon Ball or Ghost in the Shell.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.