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Live-Action Knights Of The Zodiac - What We Know So Far

While comic book-based movies and TV shows have proved to be successful, Hollywood has also tried to tango with the world of anime and manga to replicate that success. This has included the somewhat controversial Scarlett Johansson-led "Ghost In The Shell" film, as well as the upcoming "Cowboy Bebop" Netflix series. It looks like the train of live action anime adaptations isn't slowing down anytime soon, as one upcoming project pulls from a Shonen classic.

Masami Kurumada's "Knights of the Zodiac," also known as "Saint Seiya," is a manga that's blossomed into one massive franchise. Via Crunchyroll, the manga has sold 35 million copies, produced 250 anime episodes, and even significantly influenced other manga authors like "Bleach" creator Tite Kubo (via Live About). "Knights of the Zodiac" has already spawned numerous toys, video games, and even stage musicals. The influential manga series appears poised to expand itself with its first Hollywood adaptation, which has been in development for quite some time.

Here's everything that we know so far about "Knights of the Zodiac."

What is the release date for Knights of the Zodiac?

Unfortunately, an official release date has not been revealed for the upcoming live action adaptation of "Knights of the Zodiac." However, a release date should be imminent as the Hollywood Reporter noted that the project had wrapped production. At the earliest, we could expect to see the film sometime in 2022, but no later than 2023.

The fact that the movie may have finally finished production is excellent news, considering that the project has been in development limbo for a while. Via Crunchyroll, the movie was first announced in 2017 as a collaborative Hollywood project between Toei Animation and Hong Kong-based A Really Good Film Company. Per Hollywood Reporter, the film went through numerous production delays before finally shooting in 2021. While we don't yet know the release date, we know who will at least distribute the movie. Toei will premiere "Knights of the Zodiac" in Japan, while Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions will show the film everywhere else in the world except for China and the Middle East.

Who is the cast of Knights of the Zodiac?

The live action "Knights of the Zodiac" film has a Mt. Olympus-sized trek upward as a fantastic Hollywood anime adaptation, but its cast is a step in the right direction. Via The Hollywood Reporter, The lead role of Seiya is being played by Mackenyu, the son of the late Sonny Chiba. Casting Mackenyu is fitting considering that his father had a history of also starring in films based on manga, like "Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon." Alongside Mackenyu is Sean Bean, who will play Seiya's mentor, Alman Kiddo, Madison Iseman as the powerful Sienna, and Diego Tinoco as Phoenix Nero. The rest of the cast includes Famke Janssen, Nick Stahl, and Mark Dacascos, whose roles have not been revealed yet.

Thanks to the movie's director and stunt coordinator, "Knights of the Zodiac" may just faithfully recreate some of the stellar action scenes from the manga and anime series. The movie is directed by Tomasz Baginski, who is better known for doing the special effects for Netflix's "The Witcher." Stuntman and fight choreographer Andy Cheng, fresh off his amazing fight choreography for "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," is also working on "Knights of the Zodiac."

What is the plot of Knights of the Zodiac?

The live action "Knights of the Zodiac" movie is described as an origin story, which makes sense because this will be a series introduction for many folks. Seiya is an orphan who soon discovers a mystical power within him and a destiny that involves joining an order of knights tasked with protecting a powerful girl named Sienna. In the adaptation, Alman Kiddo, who created this order of knights, recruits and mentors Seiya (via The Hollywood Reporter). But from whom does Seiya have to protect Sienna? In the manga, Seiya's first major antagonist is Phoenix Ikki, also known throughout other adaptations as Phoenix Nero. It's confirmed that Phoenix Nero appears in the movie to attempt to assassinate Sienna, so this likely points out that he'll serve as the main villain.

Much like the manga (via Viz), the film will task Seiya with learning to harness and control his Cosmo power while donning the mythical Pegasus Cloth. We will also likely see him interact and train along with his other fellow Saints. With "Knights of the Zodiac" as an origin film for Seiya, it could also be the beginning of sequel films for a franchise rich with many stories and characters.