American independent production company Skydance Media announced today that it acquired the global live-action television rights to the Japanese novel and anime franchise “Sword Art Online” in partnership with Kadokawa Corporation. A network is not attached to the project yet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Writer/producer Laeta Kalogridis–best known for “Avatar,” “Terminator Genisys,” “Shutter Island,” and “Altered Carbon”–will write the script and co-produce with Skydance Media’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross, according to Anime News Network.
“For years I have been inspired by the inventive and masterful storytelling of the SAO franchise,” Kalogridis said. “I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to work with such talented partners to bring this cutting-edge yet timeless story to a new format at Skydance.”
Here is the synopsis of the upcoming live-action adaptation: “[It] follows a brilliant young beta tester Kirito and his group of friends when they are trapped — alongside 10,000 other people — in a next-generation virtual reality online role-playing game. The game is a world unto itself: filled with sword fighting, monsters, magic and mystery, where the stakes are life and death. Kirito and an ensemble of diverse characters must fight their way through this hostile environment while making lives for themselves in the fantastical world that is Sword Art Online.” (via The Hollywood Reporter)
Following the live-action television, Skydance Media plans to launch a “SAO” virtual reality experience through its interactive branch.
“Sword Art Online” franchise began as a Japanese manga series by Reki Kawahara, which inspired the anime series “Sword Art Online” and “Sword Art Online II: Gun Gale Online.” Both seasons are available on Netflix. An upcoming season three is due (release date has not been announced) and the animated film “Sword Art Online the movie: Ordinal Scale” is set to release in Japan next spring.
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