A One Punch Man live-action movie is currently in development at Sony Pictures. The studio behind the new MCU Spider-Man movies is taking a stab at the viral manga series. Sony plans for the series, which is also a successful anime, to join its superhero ranks. Sony already has Spider-Man and its extended Spider-universe in its catalog. The universe that includes Venom and the upcoming Morbius as Spider-Man adjacent properties. So it’s not surprising that the studio wants to add to it with a new potential franchise but one unconnected from the MCU and rival (frienemy?) Disney.
One Punch Man Was A Viral Webtoon Turned Anime
Image via Jump Comics
One Punch Man is an interesting manga to talk about. It’s a story by someone who has already read many other mangas. The series subverts superhero and anime tropes into something really refreshing. The self published webtoon by the artist One, came out in 2009 and was an instant hit. The deep knowledge of storytelling and superheroes by the writer was very apparent in the material. The webtoon focused on one particular superhero, who was very aptly named. One Punch Man is a superhero of immense strength. As a result, having reached the peak of his training, he could defeat any enemy with just a single blow. With no real challenges left to him anymore, he was constantly bored and looking for something or someone to bring out the best in him.
The world of One Punch Man is full of superheroes. So much so, that there an official association of Superheroes that exists within this world. Although, heroes who join, have to work their way up the hierarchy through their heroism. One Punch Man ends up joining the organization, only to end up belittling and butting heads against them and their traditions. The series is about this titular hero, who is only a hero because of boredom. His motivations are not at all noble or selfless, like most heroes.
How One Punch Man Subverts The Superhero Trope
The manga, and its subsequent anime, work for one very simple reason. One Punch Man plays with the ideas of good and evil and superheroism that we think we know and understand. Imagine a hero suffering from boredom, resorting to helping others and defeating evil. Out of boredom. It is very much like Will Smith’s Hancock, but without any underlying trauma. One Punch Man embarks on this journey of asking questions about heroism. Does a hero have to struggle against the odds to be heroic? If there is no struggle, and a hero can do everything easily, is he truly a hero? Such themes make One Punch Man must-see for fans of the superhero genre and its critics, as well.
How A One Punch Man Live-Action Movie Can Capture These Themes
Image via Adult Swim
Variety reports that the One Punch Man movie is going to be from screenwriters Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, the writers of Venom. This gives me incredible hope. Because both Rosenberg and Pinkner took the concept of Venom, and somehow made it a quirky, fantasy buddy comedy. The hilarious dynamic between an alien and the human it inhabits, was surprisingly well written. Venom’s critical reaction wasn’t that great, but the completely out of the blue comedy of the movie makes it work. Giving me hope for the One Punch Man live-action movie.
Rosenberg and Pinker working on a movie about a bored hero who is too strong for any real threat, could work. The same facetious and silly perspective of Venom could easily work within the world of One Punch Man. The same writers also worked on both recent Jumanji sequels. This also shows that they have experience and skill in taking an existing property and tweaking it to fit the approach they want to take.
The One Punch Man live-action movie is currently at development at Sony Pictures. No word yet on a release date.
Are you down for a live-action One Punch Man? Let us know in the comments below.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.