The Netflix platform has just announced that the cult manga “City Hunter”, titled in France “Nicky Larson”, will be adapted through a live action feature film.
Nicky Larson : a cult manga
Originally Nicky Larson is the main character of the manga CityHunter. Created in 1985 by Tsukasa Hojothis one quickly became famous, selling more than 50 million copies worldwide. In all, from 1985 to 1991, 36 volumes were produced. But we have to wait until 1996 to see it land in France. Nicky Larson then becomes an emblematic hero of Japanese pop culture and, more broadly, international.
From 1987 until 1991, an animated series titled Nicky Larson is developed by the Japanese animation studio Sunrise. 140 episodes are born, cut into four different arcs. In France, you have to wait until 1990 to see Nicky Larson on the show The Dorothy Club.
Faced with the success of CityHunter and the animated series, a spin-off of the main plot is developed in the early 2000s through manga Angel Heart. It is a parallel story of the universe, also adapted into an animated series afterwards. But above all, we don’t forget the live version worn by Jackie Chan. Niki Larson (1993), a completely delirious Hong Kong film. Another film then saw the light of day with Nicky Larson and the Perfume of Cupid (2019) signed by Philippe Lacheau.
Netflix tackles CityHunter
In its campaign to adapt the great Japanese classics into live action (One Piece, cowboy bebop), Netflix will soon tackle CityHunter. Indeed, the streaming company has announced that it is developing a live-action film adaptation from Tsukasa Hojo’s iconic manga. The project will be led by Yuichi Satoh, who notably directed Strawberry Nights and The End of the Tiny World in the past. Ryo Saeba (renamed Nicky Larson in the French version) will be played by Ryohei Suzuki.
Netflix describes the project as “a modern version of the manga, set in the streets of Shinjuku”. The company has fixed the broadcast of this film current 2024. The screenplay for this adaptation was written by Tatsuro Mishima, who notably worked on the series Yu Yu Hakusho. Ryohei Suzuki, the main actor of this adaptation, said that the film “will aim to strike the right balance between realism and fantasy; while paying homage to the tone of the 1980s ». He goes on to say (via The Hollywood Reporter):
I am delighted to play Ryo Saeba. I feel a great responsibility to embody this legendary and beloved character created by Tsukasa Hojo. I hope fans around the world will fall in love with Ryo Saeba and his fun and action-packed adventures in modern Tokyo.
According to director Tsukasa Hojo, this adaptation is not new. Apparently, Netflix has been working on this project for a decade now. The director underlined his enthusiasm for this unprecedented reinterpretation of CityHunter :
I always hoped the lead role would be played by someone who really loved City Hunter. Thanks to Ryohei’s unwavering passion, the time has finally come. Thanks to the dedicated cast and crew, I can’t wait for the title to hit the screen. With a new and realistic perspective that is not strictly tied to the original manga.
See you in 2024, therefore, to discover the result.