'One Punch Man' Is Becoming A Sony Live-Action Film With 'Venom' Writers Set To Pen The Anime Adaptation

To attempt to describe the absurd comedic genius of One Punch Man would be to sound like an insane person. The ridiculous antics of the aspiring superhero who trained so hard that he became invincible is a hard sell even in the manga and anime world from which the series originates, but somehow One Punch Man became one of the biggest anime hits worldwide. Now Sony Pictures wants to get in on the most popular ongoing anime satire with a live-action One Punch Man movie penned by Venom writers Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner.

Sony is developing a live-action movie adaptation of One Punch Man, based on the beloved manga created in 2009 by Japanese artist ONE as a web comic, according to Variety. The dry-witted anime satire, which follows aspiring superhero Saitama who can defeat any opponent with a single punch but finds himself bored by any foes he encounters, quickly became a viral hit. It soon became a bestselling, Eisner Award-nominated manga in 2012 from ONE and illustrator Yusuke Murata. An acclaimed anime series would soon follow, as well as video and mobile games. So naturally, a live-action movie was inevitable.

Sony has tapped writers Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner to pen the film, after the duo wrote the hugely successful Venom and both recent Jumanji movies. Avi Arad and Ari Arad of Arad Productions are producing the film. Variety reports that Sony is eager to adapt the highly popular property and possibly add another franchise to its collection.

But despite Rosenberg and Pinkner's success writing broad comedy with the Jumanji movies, I fear that they won't know what to do with the very anime-specific humor of One Punch Man. Envisioned as a satire of action animes, One Punch Man is actually very light on action, instead focusing on Saitama's incredibly mundane obstacles like getting grocery shopping deals or killing a fly. The deadpan humor coupled with the often cartoonishly violent denouements of each episode is unlike anything you can find in an American comedy, much less a budget-limited live-action one. The closest equivalent I can think of is Stephen Chow's kung fu comedies like Kung Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer, which treat the Looney Tunes-like antics of its characters and soapy stakes with equal sincerity. So my answer to this news is get Stephen Chow to direct this, or One Punch Man may just join the legions of failed Hollywood anime adaptations.