One Punch Man/Fast & Furious

Justin Lin’s Been Making Live-Action Anime With ‘Fast & Furious,’ Now He Gets to Do It With ‘One Punch Man’

It's all about family... and supermarket sales.
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Deadline has revealed that Justin Lin is set to direct the live-action adaptation of One Punch Man for Sony Pictures. My feelings about it are in a tug-of-war match between “uh oh, more live-action anime” and “wait, that’s the Fast & Furious guy, so… maybe?” Basically, this tweet is me:

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What is One Punch Man about?

Starting as a webcomic back in 2009 (self-published by ONE) before becoming a manga and anime series, One Punch Man is basically what happens when an overpowered superhero has a midlife crisis. In a world full of villains and heroes, Saitama’s gotten too powerful for his own good, able to defeat his enemies in, ahem, “one puuuuunch.” This has left him feeling no sense of satisfaction with being a hero and he hopes to be able to face someone who can actually give him a good fight. After meeting a cyborg named Genos (who sees Saitama as a mentor), the two decide to use the proper channels of becoming a hero (Saitama wasn’t actually registered as a hero) and work toward gaining more notability. As the opening theme says, “nobody knows who he is.”

The worry about this becoming a live-action adaptation isn’t just because of anime’s track record with such efforts. The anime/manga is full of absurd comedy, with wacky villains like a humanoid crab wearing underwear, and Saitama’s entire persona that flips from “ordinary hard-boiled egg head man” to “epic comic book hero.” He keeps that bland vibe going for a good portion of the series, his ridiculous strength illustrated in an instant. That is not gonna be easy to portray in live-action. Like. At all.

That being said, as Geoff Thew tweets, Fast & Furious is as close as Hollywood has gotten when tackling live-action anime. Of course, that wasn’t their intention, but with each release, we get another moment that feels like an anime episode. Vin Diesel and his family are basically like the car-racing Avengers. We’re at a point where the thought of these characters going to space – with their cars – is, somehow, a completely logical possibility. If nothing else, I’m ready for the Fast & Furious/One Punch Man memes.

What we know about the live-action movie so far

Justin Lin, who recently stepped down as director for Fast X (but is staying on as producer and who co-wrote the script) will also be a producer on the One Punch Man film alongside Avi Arad and Ari Arad of Arad Productions (Spider-Man film series, Iron Man, X-Men film series, Venom). Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner (Jumanji: The Next Level, Venom) are writing the script.

Honestly, if anyone’s gonna have a protagonist who’s so strong they can bite through a sword, it’s probably Justin Lin. Will it translate well on film? Will it make any sense? Will Saitama make it to the supermarket on time? Who knows, but it’ll certainly be something.

(Featured image: Universal Pictures/Madhouse/edited by Briana Lawrence)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)