According to the Hollywood Reporter, Josh Olson, who adapted John Wagner's A History of Violence graphic novel for director David Cronenberg, has been hired by New Line Cinema to adapt Monster, the best-selling manga series by Naoki Urasawa. New Line, which also produced A History of Violence, recently acquired the rights to Urasawa's 18-volume manga series (see 'New Line Nabs 'Monster''). Although it didn't win any major awards, Cronenberg's film version of A History of Violence received good notices at the Cannes Film Festival (see 'A History of Violence Boffo at Cannes') and should open here this fall.
The Monster manga is a psychological thriller about a doctor who makes a tough decision to save the life of a young boy (instead of a socially important older man) only to find out years later that the boy he saved has become a serial killer. While Hollywood studios have made live action films based on manga titles before, typically it has been as a remake of a Japanese film and usually in the horror genre -- so the adaptation of Monster represents something of a breakthrough.