There was once a point in 2020 where I wondered if this lull in cinema would mean the superhero genre would finally end its insane run in Hollywood. One successful Snyder Cut movement and mini-meltdown by fans from Marvel delays later, and superhero movies may be popular until the end of existence. This is a good thing in the short term because eventually, Hollywood will more frequently look to bring audiences something that isn't Marvel or DC.
When that day comes, may I direct the studio with the massive bank account into checking out My Hero Academia for a live-action adaptation worthy of becoming a fully-fledged franchise? In a statement that can't often be associated with live-action adaptations of anime, this could be a huge success with the right minds behind it, and maybe even evolve into something as big as the MCU for several reasons.
A World Full Of Superpowers Is The Next Logical Step In The Superhero Genre
You know how in the world of X-Men, there's a small percentage of the population that has genetic mutations and the rest don't? My Hero Academia is like the reverse of that, where being someone who doesn't have a power (or Quirk as they call it) manifest is relatively rare. Of course, the usefulness of a Quirk varies wildly from person to person, which is why only a select few are deemed credible enough to qualify as actual superheroes in this universe.
This is where the hero, Deku, comes into the story. He desperately wants to be a hero, but unfortunately, has no powers manifest as he matures. Luckily, a chance encounter with the world's greatest hero, All-Might, reveals a secret in which All-Might must bestow his powers onto another individual. Deku has the ability to be the greatest hero of all time, provided he can harness the awesome power of it without dying in training first. Take that, plus a world full of powered characters that can further flesh out a story, and this is a whole new MCU-sized cinematic universe waiting to happen.
All-Might In Live-Action Would Be Phenomenal
All-Might is an important part of My Hero Academia, and the relationship between him and Deku is a cool dynamic. It's also worth stating that All-Might by himself is a really interesting character, given the fact that the story visits him needing to conserve his power in order to stay alive and effectively transfer it over to another. When he's powered up, he's the pinnacle of the modern superhero, chiseled abs, shining teeth and all.
When he's powered down, it's similar to the difference between Christian Bale as Batman and Christian Bale In The Machinist. I think it's more or less common knowledge that transformation wasn't healthy for Bale to do, but I would love to see Hollywood try some version of that in live-action. Ideally, you just lose a safe amount of weight and let CGI do the rest, but I guess if someone wants to put in the work and go full in on it, who am I to stop them?
We Need A Major Superhero Franchise That Isn't Marvel And DC
I love Marvel and DC. With that said, I've been seeing a lot of DC and Marvel the past decade, and with the superhero genre still rolling strong, I'm all about giving something new to the mainstream. Shows like The Umbrella Academy have taken off in a big way, and My Hero Academia is wildly popular in the anime community with so much potential to break through with the right live-action vision.
I'm not even exaggerating when I say the potential is there for a full-scale, MCU-sized universe in My Hero Academia. Anime fans could appreciate the potential of seeing Minoru Minetta getting his own solo movie, or perhaps someone more likable like Bakugo. I'm just saying if the first live-action movie is a hit, whoever brings this franchise to the big screen has an opportunity to create a whole bunch of spinoffs with this colorful cast.
The Anime Aesthetic Could Put A Fresh Coat Of Paint On The Genre
I think if a studio is looking to make a My Hero Academia cinematic universe (or a MHACU), you're doing it because there's some fatigue in what's happening in the world of Marvel. Let's face it, as great as the Marvel movies are, they're about as formulaic as can be, and it's not often that Marvel Studios is accused of creative risk-taking on a bulk of its movies.
The world of My Hero Academia is, well, a bit weird. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say it's not the usual superhero romp. If a studio was looking to give the atypical hero look and experience in a movie, this franchise will certainly deliver. I'll add that trying to normalize or make the franchise closer to what you'd see with DC or Marvel would definitely ruin the appeal of adapting it, and I'd wager would probably make the start of a promising franchise a failed flop.
There's A Ton Of Content To Adapt
There's been so much content already churned out for My Hero Academia in manga and anime, so there's a treasure trove of content to work with by the time a studio would get a movie into development. Obviously, it would be a fool's errand to try and adapt everything in one movie, but starting off with Deku's entry to the U.A. Academy for hero training would be a great jumping-on point for an introduction to the franchise.
After that, the sky is the limit on where things could go. And while it may be a cardinal sin to suggest this, I don't think it would be the worst thing to take creative liberties with the plots to make them easier to digest over the course of a movie. Provided you get the characters and their personalities right, I don't see condensing major arcs as a huge issue. After all, people can check out the source material for the full story, and more eyes will be on it if this franchise is a box office phenomena.
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