Sony Pictures is developing a live-action feature film adaptation of the popular One Punch Man manga. The manga began as a webcomic from the artist known as ONE in 2009. The titular character is Saitama, a pensive but heroic figure whose power is so great that he can destroy any foe with one punch.
The manga was adapted into an anime series that ran for two seasons so far. While no order for season three has been announced, it would be genuinely shocking if the story didn’t continue on television, especially considering the brand exposure that this film will surely garner.
The film will be written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner. The duo has previously collaborated on Venom and Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and it’s sequel. While that isn’t a death sentence for the film’s quality, it’s not quite a perfect fit for One Punch Man, in my personal opinion.
The Writer’s Previous Works
Not recognizing the names of these screenwriters, I looked into their filmographies both in order to educate myself on what to expect and in the hope that my spirits would be lifted. Unfortunately, I discovered that Rosenberg also co-wrote Kangaroo Jack while Pinkner co-wrote films such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and The Dark Tower.
I like Kangaroo Jack, but that’s not something I would hope that the screenwriter of One Punch Man would have on his resume. Well written comedy is a huge part of what makes the anime so memorable and vibrant, and the jokes in Kangaroo Jack, Venom, and Jumanji, aren’t up to par. Hopefully Rosenberg can step it up from his earlier works.
Jeff Pinkner’s resume is even more concerning, as I would argue that The Dark Tower and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are objectively bad films. That being said, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility for a writer to create a masterpiece despite putting out somewhat lackluster work in the past. I just wouldn’t count on it with One Punch Man. I pray that these two prove me wrong.
One Punch Man: The Next Hollywood Anime Failure?
Ultimately, if the scripts are not up to par, there’s not anything that the cast and crew can do to turn it into a good movie. Filmmaking is storytelling through the lense of cinema. You can perfect the visual effects, the score and the casting, but if the writing’s not there, the film won’t be one of high quality.
As a fan of the series, I simply want to see this adaptation do justice to the source material from which it comes. Hollywood has a notoriously difficult time making good anime film adaptations, and I fear that this will be the next in a long line of disappointments such as Death Note and The Last Airbender.
I like Sony (go ahead and crucify me) and I really want to see an amazing One Punch Man movie hit the big screen someday. There’s immense potential in this movie, and that potential deserves to be realized. While I am rooting for this movie, I don’t have much faith in it at this time.
Fellow One Punch Man fans, how do you feel about this news? Will this adaptation honor the incredible source material? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our social media!