The wheels of Hollywood are moving fast. Barely two months after announcing his shocking exit from Fast X – the tenth installment in the Fast & Furious saga – Justin Lin has been announced as the director for a highly anticipated manga and anime adaptation. As Deadline reveals, Sony has tapped Lin to helm a live-action adaptation of One Punch Man, one of the most popular anime series from the last ten years or so. The story centers around Saitama, a bald and frail-looking super-hero who is able to exterminate potential enemies with a single punch.
Lin has already put his geek knowledge to work several times across his career. He directed the famous paintball episodes from TV series Community and recently directed Star Trek Beyond, the latest installment in the sci-fi movie franchise. However, the director rose to prominence in the Fast & Furious saga, having directed five entries in the film series. Lin was attached to direct the final three installments in the franchise as well, but creative differences with leading star Vin Diesel led him to quit during production. Fast X is now being directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk).
The One Punch Man live-action adaptation will be written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, both of whom have titles in their filmography that suggest it’s way too early to assume whether they’ll do a good job or not. Pinkner rose to prominence by writing episodes from popular and fan-favorite series like Alias and Lost, but he also penned the widely criticized adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Rosenberg wrote popular movies like Gone in Sixty Seconds and High Fidelity, and in recent years teamed up with Pinkner to write the two newest installments of Jumanji and Venom’s solo outing in theaters. So we’ll just have to pray they lean into their better works to bring an adaptation that pleases One Punch Man’s huge fanbase.
Sony first announced the live-action adaptation back in 2020. At the time, the studio revealed that a super-hero expert producer was handling the project: Avi Arad, who played a huge role in bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe to life. This time, the studio also announced that Lin will double down as producer, which makes the future look good for the adaptation. The question now is: Who is going to don the Saitama cape (and shave their head) to play the title character?
Created by ONE and first published in 2009, the story quickly became popular because it imagined another side of the super-hero universe: An all-powerful individual who is just bored with not having any challenges in life. In the story, Saitama gets increasingly frustrated each time he fights a new enemy, because he always can defeat them with a punch. An anime adaptation was quickly ordered, and Season 2 premiered in 2019. The manga series has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most popular and fastest-selling series in the world.
Sony is yet to reveal further details from One Punch Man, including a cast and expected release window.