For a little while now, we've been hearing rumblings here and there from Manga Entertainment, and more specifically their COO Jerome Mazandarani, about a desire to move away from purely licensing anime and similar titles for release and look towards being involved in creating productions in their own right.
That desire has taken a step towards reality today with the news that Manga Entertainment have optioned the comic series Wayward, with a view towards adapting it into a Japanese anime or live-action TV series.
Here's the full press release from the company themselves with futher details:
WAYWARD Comic Series Optioned for TV by Manga Entertainment UK Ltd.
Writer Jim Zub and illustrator Steven Cummings’ WAYWARD, an ongoing comic series published by Image Comics, has been optioned by UK-based Manga Entertainment for development in television as a Japanese animated or live action series. Zub and Cummings will act as creative consultants on the project, including development of the initial story treatment along with character and creature designs.
WAYWARD is an action-drama set in modern Tokyo where Yokai, Japanese creatures and spirits of legend, battle against teenagers imbued with newfound supernatural power. The series launched to critical acclaim in August 2014 and is currently available in monthly comic format and four collected trade paperbacks, with a new deluxe hardcover collection arriving in July. WAYWARD’s first volume, ‘String Theory’, made the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2016 List of ‘Great Graphic Novels for Teens’ and has been favorably reviewed by many outlets, including Kirkus.
Zub is a Harvey and Shuster Award-nominated comic writer (AVENGERS, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, SAMURAI JACK, FIGMENT). His other creator-owned titles, GLITTERBOMB and SKULLKICKERS, are also published by Image Comics, the third largest comic publisher in North America and publisher of The Walking Dead.
Cummings is an American comic book artist based in Japan (DEADSHOT, LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, STREET FIGHTER, FORAGER).
Jerome Mazandarani, COO of Manga Entertainment, said, “We are very excited to be working with Jim and Steven to bring the characters and world of WAYWARD to life for the screen. Jim and Steven have managed to create a truly unique high stakes action-drama that feels fresh and authentic in its mixture of Japanese and Celtic mythology. We are very confident this story will connect with audiences across Asia and the rest of the world.”
Zub said, “As soon as Jerome and I started talking about a collaboration, I had a good feeling Manga Entertainment would be the right place to develop Wayward. The crew at Manga intimately understand the anime market and have helped popularize some of the biggest brands in that space. As Japanese art and animation continues to go global, co-producing Wayward at a Japanese studio with Manga taking the lead is a natural choice.”
Founded in 1987, Manga Entertainment began as a producer, licensor and distributor of Japanese animation in the United Kingdom, quickly earning its reputation as the UK’s largest anime distributor with revered anime brands including GHOST IN THE SHELL, DRAGON BALL Z, NARUTO, ONE PIECE, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE. Headquartered in London, Manga Entertainment continues to specialize in the licensing, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation and other beloved new/classic pop culture franchises like HALO, TRANSFORMERS, POKEMON and YU-GI-OH!
Zub and Cummings are represented by APA.