'Sword Art Online' Live-Action Series Will Reportedly Be Dark

To say Hollywood’s work with anime has gone poorly would be an understatement. To date, adaptations such as Dragonball Evolution and Ghost in the Shell failed to impress fans, but that is not stopping studios. After all, there are more live-action anime plans in the works these days, but fans are starting to get nervous over Sword Art Online.

After all, the fan-favorite series is slated to get a live-action adaptation from Netflix, and a new report isn’t speaking kindly about the project.

Recently, a well-known anime reporter hit up Twitter with a tease about the Sword Art Online project. Taking to social media, Yonkou Productions told fans a number of unnamed sources have shared curious details with him about Sword Art Online.

“I heard Netflix wanted Sword Art Online to have a Narcos feel and be super dark...seriously,” the reporter shared.

Continuing, Yonkou Productions went on to question the live-action adaptation in light of Netlix’s plans for Cowboy Bebop.

“So I heard about what Netflix wanted to do the SAO live action series and it wasn't good. They have a specific idea for the type of content they want even if it is against the core and spirit of the original and as such I don't have a shred of hope for the Cowboy Bebop series.”

For those of you unaware, Sword Art Online has been developing its live-action debut for awhile now. The project is being headed up by Laeta Kalogridis who most recently work on Netflix’s Altered Carbon. In an interview with Collider, the producer did address her work on Sword Art Online, but the topic of tone wasn’t broached.

SAO is an essentially Japanese property, in which Kirito and Asuna, who are the two leads, are Japanese. In the television show, Kirito and Asuna will be played by Asian actors,” she stressed, assuaging concerns of whitewashing.

“When I sold it to Netflix, we were all on the same page. They are not interested in whitewashing it, and I am not interested in whitewashing it. In terms of the secondary characters, because the game is meant to be global, the way it's presented in the anime and in the light novels, there are secondary characters that clearly are from other parts of the world, like Klein and Agil.”

So far, few details have come out about Sword Art Online and its future with Netflix, but fans are keeping a close eye on the venture. After all, the company has a handful of live-action adaptations in the works, and this isekai series is just one of them. From Cowboy Bebop to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Netflix has its sights set on doing live-action anime right, but fans just hope the company can avoid another Death Note pitfall.

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So, what do you make of these recent reports? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Sword Art Online was originally created by Reki Kawahara with illustrations provided by abec. The series follows a boy named Kirito after he and thousands of gamers get trapped in a virtual reality video game known as Sword Art Online. The gamers must band together to defeat the game’s final level to escape, but Kirito and his guild learn there is more behind their prison than they were originally told.