Hit Japanese manga Promised Neverland is being adapted into a live-action series for Amazon by Heroes’ Masi Oka, Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse writer and director Rodney Rothman and Vertigo Entertainment.
Fox 21 and Amazon Studios are producing the English-language adaptation with Rothman set to direct and exec produce, with Oka, Roy Lee and Miri Yoon of Vertigo also EPs. Meghan Malloy (Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse) will write the pilot.
Promised Neverland, which was originally written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, follows a group of the smartest kids at a seemingly idyllic orphanage uncover its dark truth when they break a rule to never leave the orphanage grounds. Once the truth is discovered, they begin to plan an escape to save all of the children. The manga has sold over 20M copies worldwide and has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine published by Shueisha.
It is the latest Japanese adaptation developed by Oka, who starred in NBC’s Heroes and produced an adaptation of anime series Death Note alongside Dan Lin and Roy Lee for Netflix. Last year, he developed Repeat for CBS, a drama series based on another Kurumi Inui manga. That project was one of four Japanese properties Oka presented to Hollywood producers and production companies last year at event sponsored by the Japanese government’s organization JETRO in conjunction with the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles, however, Promised Neverland was not one of these.
Oka is repped by UTA and Eric Sherman at Ziffren Brittenham, and Luber/Roklin.
Rodney Rothman most recently co-wrote and co-directed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Previous credits include 22 Jump Street, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. He was previously the youngest ever head writer on The Late Show with David Letterman.
He is repped at UTA and his lawyer is at Ziffren Brittenham.
Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Miri Yoon are currently in production on the upcoming anthology series, Them, for Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios, on which they serve as executive producers alongside creator Little Marvin, and Lena Waithe.
Screenwriter Malloy started her career as a development assistant at NBCUniversal and Mick Jagger’s Jagged Productions before working as Jon Favreau’s assistant for the films Chef and The Jungle Book. In 2015, she started working as a writer’s assistant to writer/ producer/director Rodney Rothman and wrote on Sony Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and on the upcoming Sony Animation movie Vivo. Malloy is represented by Fourth Wall Management and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.