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Sword Art Online Gets Live-Action American TV Series

posted on by Karen Ressler
Laeta Kalogridis to write script; production company also plans VR experience

American independent production company Skydance Television announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the global live-action television rights for the Sword Art Online (SAO) franchise from Kadokawa.

The company plans to fast-track the launch of a live-action television series. Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Terminator Genisys) is writing the script and executive producing along with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross of Skydance. Kalogridis, who also penned drafts for the live-action Alita: Battle Angel and Ghost in the Shell films, mentioned that she has "for years... been inspired by the inventive and masterful storytelling of the SAO franchise."

Skydance Interactive is also planning a Sword Art Online virtual reality experience after the television series. Skydance Media CEO Ellison said the company is planning "a full-scale and wide-ranging set of live action franchise extensions across our business verticals."

Reki Kawahara's original Sword Art Online light novel series has two television anime adaptations, an anime special, and an upcoming anime film. It has also inspired multiple manga series, games, and a virtual reality demonstration in Japan.

The story revolves around a boy named Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya who enters a virtual-reality, massively multi-player online (MMO) world called "Sword Art Online." There is no escape from this world unless the player clears the game, but "game over" means the death of the player.

Aniplex of America releases the anime in North America and Yen Press publishes the light novels and manga.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Lesley Goldberg) via Otakomu

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