Tokyo Hive reports that Fast and Furious star Sung Kang will be helming and starring in a live-action Initial D adaptation. Though much of the production details and release date have yet to be determined, the project will mark Kang’s third directorial effort, following the 2012 miniseries Acting for Action with Sung Kang, and the 2022 horror film, Shaky Shivers. And it’s quite fitting that the man behind Han Lue would be the right guy for the job, given how passionate he is about cars.
Sung Kang Is Directing And Starring In A Live-Action Initial D
The Initial D manga has a robust history, and the street racing manga ran across 48 volumes from 1995 to 2013. And much like the Fast and Furious franchise, the series centers on street racing. In Kang’s own words, the live-action adaptation will be a high-octane action adventure with plenty of drifting to go around, but delivered with a similar spirit to films like Rocky or Karate Kid.
Previous Initial D Remakes
To date, Initial D has been adapted a number of times, including a 2001 anime feature film, and an ill-fated 2005 live-action adaptation. What’s more, as of April 2021, over 55 million copies of the manga are in circulation, meaning it’s one of the highest-selling manga series in history.
The Initial D manga places a strong emphasis on racing, overcoming obstacles, and highlights protagonist Takumi Fujiwara’s transition from street racing to world class rally racing. Though Han from the Fast and Furious movies prefers to drive around in a Mazda RX-7 FD, Initial D is responsible for putting the Toyota AE86 on the map.
Sung Kang And Cars
Given Kang’s history portraying Han Lue in several Fast and Furious features, it’s clear that he’s the right guy for the job. Ironically enough, it was his appearance in 2006’s Tokyo Drift that rekindled his interest in cars which was originally sparked when he was a child. Though he suggests that there will be high-speed chases and drifting in the Initial D adaptation, he didn’t know how prominent drifting culture was in Japan until he prepared for the film and learned to drift himself.
Initial D Will Stay True To The Manga
While it remains to be seen what role Kang will take on in the Initial D adaptation, he has assured fans that the upcoming live-action film will be a faithful adaptation to the original manga written by Shuichi Shigeno.
It’s worth noting that Sung Kang is still busy with the Fast and Furious franchise for the time being, so we’ll probably have to wait for further developments on the Initial D front. As of this writing, the sequel to Fast X is currently in development, and scheduled for an April 4 2025 release.
Sung Kang Returning For More Fast And Furious Projects?
But it’s also been reported that there may be a third installment to this final run of Fast and Furious movies (depending on box office numbers), and we’re not sure if the production schedule for Initial D will take place concurrently, or if Kang will wait until production wraps with his Fast and Furious family before pursuing this project.
Since there’s probably going to be plenty of lead time before the live-action Initial D adaptation materializes, you can get yourself up to speed with the manga so you’re a subject matter expert ahead of the movie’s release.