Three tidbits of interesting live-action adaptation news:
1) Fresh off of his upcoming big screen movie version of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need Is Kill, actor Tom Cruise is already attached to star in another movie based off a Japanese SF novel, Chohei Kambayashi’s Yukikaze, first printed in 1984, and also printed in the US by Haikasoru (coincidence?). Yukikaze may be an okay fit for Cruise (better than All You Need Is Kill, anyway), as it has lots of Top Gun-ish aerial battles, albeit with aliens. If you can’t wait, the novel, its sequel, and anime adaptation are readily available in English now.
2) Takashi Shimizu will be directing a live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Shimizu’s known for horror, since the Grudge franchise, Marebito, Tomie: Rebirth, Reincarnation, and the like fit pretty squarely into the kaidan mold, however, he has been known to bring the whimsy with projects like Great Horror Family, Ghost vs Alien, and his episode of The Ancient Dogoo Girl, so I think he could be a good fit for the project. I’ve yet to read the original novel, but as I understand it’s not terribly far off from the Miyazaki animated movie version, so I wouldn’t expect much different out of this.
3) Guillermo del Toro is developing a TV series for HBO based on Naoki Urasawa’s Monster. Now, will this actually happer? Most likely not, as del Toro has a habit of announcing potential projects which then fall through (e.g. At the Mountains of Madness, The Creature From the Black Lagoon), and he currently has a whopping 18 other projects (by my quick count) on his to-do list. Still, one has to wonder what the series would be like as a US TV program: given that it’s HBO, I expect the numerous Osamu Tezuka allusions would be lost, and there’d probably be a lot more gratuitous nudity. Considering that the series takes place in Germany, I wonder if it’d be better just to try to make it over there. But who knows, maybe if the show does come to light, Viz will finally release the rest of the anime on DVD?