Coming off the heels of Universal’s Attack on Titan the Real attraction and the announcement of two Attack on Titan live-action films slated for a summer 2015 release in Japan, Sony has decided to jump on-board the franchise’s titan-sized bandwagon.
Just this week, Sony Pictures Entertainment purchased eight incriminating domain names that have left fans scratching their heads:
If that doesn’t spell things out, I don’t know what does. Sony is clearly taking preparatory steps toward something big–as colossal, you might say, as the series’ fandom and acclaim. Yet the question remains: why exactly has Sony purchased eight separate domain names, and (more pressing) what do they plan to do with them? At the time, there are several theories:
1. Sony is securing its rights to Attack on Titan in case of a future film
This is perhaps the most disappointing theory, as it means there are no serious plans to put an Attack on Titan film into motion. That being said, it’s highly possible that Sony is hoping to stake out its territory in order to keep other prospective film companies at bay. With Attack on Titan being the #1 anime/manga hit of the decade, it’s easy to understand why Sony would want to put a proverbial flag down on potential movie rights. This might also explain why Sony saw fit to purchase every feasible domain name that would work as an official website to a live-action film.
2. Sony is planning to dub and distribute the Attack on Titan live-action film already in the works
In much the same way that Viz Media and Warner Bros. took the helm in dubbing and distributing the Death Note trilogy, it’s possible that Sony is planning to be the one to get the Attack on Titan foreign film into the hands of English-speaking audiences. Given the series’ popularity, it would be unthinkable that an English dub and world-wide distribution not be available, and perhaps Sony is planning to be the force through which said distribution occurs.
3. Sony has plans for an “American” Attack on Titan live-action film
Depending on your personal experiences with horrendous anime-to-film adaptations, this final theory may be the most exciting or dreadful of the three. It’s also unseemly, considering the fact that it follows so closely in the shadow of the Japanese live-action release. With that in mind, however, film companies have been turning more frequently toward anime for their next blockbuster. Over ten American film companies expressed interest in the Death Note series before Warner Bros. at last claimed the rights, with Shane Black (Iron Man 3) at the helm; it’s been a long time in the making, but Death Note is very much in development. As is Ghost in the Shell, which is being produced by Dreamworks, with Scarlett Johansson cast as the lead role. In an age where Hollywood is beginning to look to video games and anime for inspiration, an Attack on Titan film by Sony may not be so unfathomable as it first appears.
What does it all mean?
The short answer: we don’t know… yet. But Attack on Titan is certainly on its way up, both as one of the few “cross-over anime” appreciated by both anime traditionalists and otherwise non-anime fans, and also as a world-wide phenomenon. The integration of Attack on Titan into Universal Japan, the advent of two live-action foreign-film adaptions, and the development of the much-anticipated second season of the anime all point toward the series’ longevity. This visceral colossus is on the move, and with Western critics hailing it as “Japan’s equivalent of The Walking Dead,” it would seem that there’s no stopping the primordial beast’s sweeping, powerful charge to the top of the anime and manga tier.
What Sony Pictures has planned, we can only imagine. But it’s going to be big. Real big. A series of this magnitude will settle for nothing less than some giant-sized justice to its colossal franchise.
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