Veteran actor Sean Bean is making a return to the fantasy genre with Knights of the Zodiac, a new live-action adaptation of the 80s Manga and anime Saint Seiya. The well-renowned actor, who has become an internet meme thanks to being known for the number of characters he plays that don't make it to the second act alive, played Boromir in the Lord of the Rings movies, Ned Stark in the first season of Game of Thrones and has also appeared in numerous movies such as Goldeneye, Troy and The Martian, and is now all signed up to star in the live-action version of the Masami Kurumada created property.
After being substantially delayed, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the production is now almost wrapped after being in development for a number of years. Sean Bean will play the founder of the Knights, Alman Kiddo, who is responsible for recruiting orphan Seiya and mentoring him on a quest to conquer the Greek armor of Pegasus and choose a side in an epic battle. The original manga story follows The Saints, a group of warriors who draw their power from the constellations of the zodiac and are entrusted with the protection of Athena, who has been reincarnated and under threat of other gods who want to take over Earth. The story was recently adapted into the animated series, Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac on Netflix.
Along with Bean, the project also features Pacific Rim: Uprising star Macyenyu in the role of Seiya, X-Men's Famke Janssen, Nick Stahl, and Jumanji's Madison Iseman. The movie also features a strong behind the scenes presence in Polish animator Tomasz Baginski serving as director, following his successful executive producer role on Netflix's The Witcher, and Andy Cheng, who has recently worked on the epic fight scenes in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - which is currently dominating the box office - works on the movie's stunt choreography.
Knights of the Zodiac is not the first anime to be adapted into a live-action form, although at the moment there seems to be a trend for the reverse of that, with many popular movies and TV series being given anime style animated spin-offs, including The Witcher, Night of The Living Dead and Star Wars to mention just a few of the recent glut of the animations. There's also a Cowboy Bebop live-action series heading to Netflix. When it comes to turning existing anime's into live-action movies, the previous efforts have delivered a mixed bag of hits and misses with the likes of Death Note, Ghost In The Machine and Alita: Battle Angel gaining praise from some and being hated by others.
Having Sean Bean on board the movie will obviously be a draw for the actor's fans, especially when the title itself may not be as well known as some of the other fantasy movies coming down the line, but the fantastical setting of the story lends itself to some of the awesome on screen visual effects that brought audiences flocking to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, and the more than capable cast should be enough to ensure that the movie is a hit when it arrives. Let's just hope it's better received than that final Game of Thrones season, which Bean didn't watch. There is currently no premiere date for Knights of the Zodiac. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.