Netflix Is Turning The Best Anime Into A Live-Action Series

By Sean Thiessen | Published

Netflix is showing off its superpowers with a new live-action feature film version of the hit anime series My Hero Academia. Netflix acquired the film from Legendary Entertainment, the company behind the recent string of American Godzilla films, per The Hollywood Reporter. The adaptation will join films like Netflix’s Death Note (2017) on the platform’s growling list of live-action anime adaptations.

The upcoming Netflix version of My Hero Academia, which is based on the original manga and six seasons of an anime adaptation, follows the story of Izuku Midoriya, a boy who is powerless in a world full of super-powered people. Called “quirks,” these powers vary greatly among the population, and those who complete proper education and training become superheroes that help law enforcement fight against the villains who use their powers for evil. One day, Izuku is bestowed a great power by All Might, a powerful hero who sees in Izuku the heart, passion, and integrity it takes to be a superhero.

Izuku then enrolls in a high school for superheroes and embarks on a journey to become Japan’s greatest protector. Between the manga and anime, there is a lot of source material to pull from. How far into Izuku’s story the Netflix version of My Hero Academia will go is yet to be seen.

The new film is written by Joby Harold, whose writing credits include episodes of the Disney+ show Obi-Wan Kenobi and the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Harold also helped pen the script for Zack’s Snyder’s Army of the Dead, also a Netflix original film. Japanese action director Shinskue Sato will helm the Netflix film, which should bode well for the movie as My Hero Academia originated and is set in Japan.

My Hero Academia
Izuku in My Hero Academia.

My Hero Academia marks the first English-language project for Sato, whose extensive career in action and horror includes a Japanese live-action adaptation of Death Note. Netflix infamously adapted Death Note, a popular anime series, into a film starring Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, and Lakeith Stanfield. The film was universally disliked and is a mistake that Netflix would certainly hope to avoid with the acquisition of My Hero Academia.

Anime adaptations won’t stop there for the streaming giant. Upside Down Productions, the production company from Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers, also has a Death Note live-action series in the works for Netflix. The project may be an attempt to win fans back over after the disastrous film outing of the same property in 2017; the success Netflix finds with My Hero Academia may even impact the future of the Death Note series.

Fans of anime have learned to approach live-action adaptations with caution over the years. Though Joby Harold has impressive writing credits, projects like Obi-Wan-Kenobi and Army of the Dead have had mixed responses from their respective fan bases. Shinsuke Sato also has an extensive resume of full of action-packed, blockbuster-style material; fans can only hope this combo can get the job done for Netflix and Legendary on the My Hero Academia film.