‘My Hero Academia’ Live-Action Movie Gets Director In ‘Kingdom’s Shinsuke Sato

Shinsuke Sato, the director behind the Japanese hit movie Kingdom and it upcoming sequel, is set to make his English-language film debut with My Hero Academia, Legendary’s live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga franchise created by Kohei Horikoshi.

The manga, first published in 2014, centers on superhero fanboy Izuku Midoriya, who daydreams about being a hero in a world where 80% of Earth’s population manifests a super power (or “quirk”). Izuku is born without a quirk but after a chance encounter with All Might, the greatest hero the world has ever known, he defies the odds and enrolls at the UA superhero academy where he will find challenges that require him to risk everything to prove himself to be truly special.

The anime series adaptation from Bones Inc. & Toho Animation is popular in Japan and currently in its fifth season. There have also been three animated films to date: My Hero Academia: Two Heroes in 2018, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising in 2019 and My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission which bowed last week in Japan.

Legendary’s live-action take, first revealed in 2018 just ahead of the May 2019 release of its Detective Pikachu ($433.9 million at the global box office), is being overseen by Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter for the studio, with Ryosuke Yoritomi on behalf of the manga publisher Shueisha. Toho will distribute the film in Japan.

The Tokyo-based Sato previously adapted the mangas I Am a Hero, which won the SXSW Midnighter Audience Award in 2016, a live-action Inuyashiki in 2018 and Bleach in 2019, the latter for Warner Bros Japan. That led to 2019’s Kingdom, the historical war epic that he wrote and directed. Sato is also working on a sequel to that.

Most recently, Sato wrote and directed the Netflix live-action series Alice in Borderland, which bowed in December 2020 and has been renewed for a second season. It centers on a trio of gamers who are thrust into a parallel Tokyo universe where they must play cruel and sadistic games to survive.

Sato is repped by WME and Grandview in the U.S. and Origamix Partners in Japan.

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