A musical adaptation of Fuji Television’s hit Japanese series Train Man is in the works for the U.S. by Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal and writer-executive producer Tucker Cawley, with Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Step Up) attached to direct and executive produce. The project, the first American remake by Fuji Television, hails from Vertigo Entertainment, Amuse Group US and Global Road Television, which will serve as the studio and international distributor. It was announced today at Mipcom.

Train Man (known as Densha Otoko in Japan), inspired by the internationally renowned franchise of the same name, tells the profoundly relatable story of a shy, nerdy young man who, with encouragement from members of his online comic book chat group, attempts to overcome his reclusiveness and insecurity in order to start a relationship with a young woman.

Based on a true story, the tale of life altering love began in 2004 as a series of almost 30,000 posts on a Japanese bulletin board with each chapter detailing a separate mission that Train Man needed to complete in order to further his romance. What started as a young man asking for dating advice, became an inherent part of pop culture vernacular, spurring a novel, a manga, a feature film and a hugely successful television series.

Rosenthal, Cawley and Shankman executive produce with Roy Lee (The Departed, The Ring), Vertigo Entertainment’s Michael Connolly, Offspring Entertainment’s Jennifer Gibgot, Tatsuro Hatanaka from Amuse USA and Fuji TV’s Satoshi Kubota.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with this fantastic team,” Shankman said. “Phil and Tucker have created some of the most hilarious and heartfelt work on television, and I cannot wait to work together on this project that so speaks to our collective hopes, dreams, successes and failures. The concept of ‘Train Man,’ his public and private faces, his fears and foibles, is so ripe for serialization and musicalization. This unique and massively popular world is fertile ground for original storytelling.”

Mark Stern, President of Scripted Content for Global Road Television said: “Safe to say, with this unique source material and these incredible talents, Train Man is going to be unlike anything else out there. We’re honored to be the studio for such an auspicious project.”