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The Hollywood Reporter trade magazine reported on Monday that director Justin Lin "is developing Lone Wolf and Cub, an adaptation of the acclaimed epic samurai manga, with Marissa McMahon, the burgeoning producer and daughter-in-law of WWE CEO Vince McMahon. The duo is in the midst of packaging the project."
The Taiwanese-American director is best known for helming the last three entries in The Fast and the Furious movie franchise. He made his feature directorial debut with the critically acclaimed 2002 film Better Luck Tomorrow, and he also directed three well-regarded episodes of the American television series Community ("Introduction to Statistics," "Interpretive Dance," "Modern Warfare").
The Hollywood Reporter's article focused on Universal Studios' two-year deal with Lin's new Barnstorm Pictures production company. Under the deal, Universal will have the first look at Barnstorm Pictures' projects before other studios can approach them. Other projects on Lin's slate include Fast & Furious 6, the spy film Leading Man, an untitled project about a World War II Japanese American battalion "that is the most decorated unit in American history," an untitled science-fiction/crime film to be directed by Robert Glickert. Lin is also attached to the fifth Terminator film, but it does not have a studio backing it yet.
Director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan) previously tried to secure the film rights to Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's Lone Wolf and Cub manga. According to Aronofsky in an MTV article in 2009, "the rights from Japan were never cleared. They tried for a while. I don't think it's getting out of there anytime soon." The Variety entertainment trade magazine reported in 2003 that Aronofsky and his Protozoa producer Eric Watson were attached to a proposed Lone Wolf and Cub project with Paramount and the Mutual Film Company.
Dark Horse Comics releases the original manga in North America, while Media Blasters licensed a Japanese live-action television series based on it. Previously, AnimEigo licensed a Japanese 1972 live-action film version and its five sequels.
Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.
Update: More background information added.
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