Creator of anime/manga franchise says the already-decided on director is the perfect choice.

There’s a long list of would-be Western live-action anime adaptations that got stalled before ever beginning filming, and even when they do make it to the finish line of a theatrical release, none have done much to impress critics, please existing fans, or draw in new ones. But while many would argue that Hollywood should stop banging its head against the brick wall of adapting anime, some decision makers apparently think that the cast and crew of previous attempts weren’t banging their heads hard enough, or at least not in the right spots.

And so we’re getting a “Hollywood live-action Attack on Titan movie,” according to Kodansha, publisher of the manga that spawned the most phenomenally successful anime series of the last 10 years. Kodansha has announced that the film will be directed by Argentinian filmmaker Andy Muschietti, whose most recent works are the 2017-version of Stephen King’s It and 2013’s Mama. David Heyman, producer of all eight Harry Potter films, is attached as a producer, as are former Heroes cast member Masi Oka and Muschietti’s sister Barbara, whose prior producer credits include It and Mama. Heyman’s production company, Heyday Films (which produced the Harry Potter films) is also involved, with distribution to be handled by Warner Bros.

Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama sounds excited about the project, saying Muschietti is “the best possible person I can think of to direct a live-action Attack on Titan,” and also that he’s looking forward to working with Heyman, as he thoroughly enjoyed the producer’s 2013 space thriller Gravity.

However, fans who’ve been following the Attack on Titan franchise most likely aren’t anywhere near as optimistic as Isayama is. That’s because Attack on Titan already has two made-in-Japan live-action films which were released within a few months of each other in 2015, and both were viciously skewered by critics and moviegoers, so much so that their poor performance seemed to suck some of the life out of the sales of even the Attack on Titan anime, which was in a between-seasons hiatus at the time. The most common complaint was that the live-action films were too far away in tone from the manga/anime source material, though the term “source material” isn’t entirely accurate in this case, since the movies, with Isayama’s blessing and encouragement, sought to tell a different story than the one covered in Attack on Titan’s original continuity.

▼ Trailer for the first Japanese live-action Attack on Titan

Muschietti occupying the director’s chair is at least somewhat reassuring. He took the small budget he had to work for with It and turned in a widely praised film that’s revitalized interest in the franchise, and considering the unimpressive box office tallies for anime-to-Hollywood-live-action film up to new, Attack on Titan isn’t likely to have a budget that at all resembles its colossal antagonists. It’s also unlikely that the Hollywood Attack on Titan will follow the Japanese films’ strategy of going with an all-Japanese cast even for characters of non-Asian descent, something that was met with grumbles from the international fan community back in 2015. On the other hand, the fact that Muschietti’s biggest hits so far have been in the horror category could be a sign that the Hollywood Attack on Titan is going to be focusing on fear over action, which would in many ways be a repeat of the angle the Japanese live-action movies unsuccessfully took.

▼ It’s also unclear how the upcoming film will affect the Japanese live-action films’ special modeling director’s testy response to unsatisfied audiences that they should “go right ahead and watch nothing but Hollywood movies.”

There’s currently no word as to when the Hollywood Attack on Titan film will premier, but with Muschietti directing It–Chapter Two, which comes out in September of 2019, it’s doubtful we’ll see the Titans attacking Hollywood until at least 2020.

Sources: PR Times via Hachima Kiko, Kodansha via IT Media, Twitter/@ShingekiKyojin
Top image: PR Times
Insert image: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he regrets not applying to be an extra in the Japanese live-action Attack on Titan.