It appears hit Japanese manga series The Promised Neverland will be taking the next step in its on-screen evolution, with Heroes star Masi Oka, writer and director Rodney Rothman (Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse), and Vertigo Entertainment bringing a live-action series to Amazon. With Rothman directing and Meghan Malloy (Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse) writing the pilot, the English-language adaptation is set to be produced by Fox 21 and Amazon Studios. Rothman will also executive produce, alongside Oka, Roy Lee, and Miri Yoon.
Originally written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, and serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, The Promised Neverland follows a group of the smartest kids at a seemingly idyllic orphanage who 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 20 million copies worldwide, with an anime adaptation of manga chapters 1 through 37 airing in early 2019 and a second season expected to air sometime in early 2021.
Oka's previous manga adaptation experience included Netflix's live-action Death Note (produced with Lee and Dan Lin) and CBS' Repeat, a drama series based on the Kurumi Inui manga. Rothman is coming off the box office and Academy Award-winning success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with a filmography that includes 22 Jump Street, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; as well as serving as head writer on The Late Show with David Letterman. Lee and Yoon are currently in production on Them, an anthology series for Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios that they are executive producing with series creator Little Marvin and Lena Waithe. First starting out as a development assistant at NBCUniversal and Jagged Productions before working as Jon Favreau's (The Mandalorian) assistant on the films Chef and The Jungle Book, Malloy began working as a writer's assistant to Rothman in 2015, going on to write for Sony Animation's Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and on the upcoming movie Vivo.