Melissa Joan Hart is Samurai Girl

TOKYOPOP Inc. has made good on its pledge to “take manga to the big screen and beyond.” The leading North American graphic novel publisher has inked actress Melissa Joan Hart (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”) and screenwriter Dan Gordon (“Wyatt Earp,” “The Hurricane”) for a live-action feature film development project inspired by Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School, one of its top manga and anime properties.

“The storyboard aspect of manga is already custom-built for film,” said Steve Galloway, TOKYOPOP’s Executive Director of Film/Television. “And with Hart and Gordon attached to this story’s fast-moving adventures, we have all the makings of a terrific cinematic package for teens.”

The project materialized after TOKYOPOP was introduced to Hartbreak Films, the producers of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and other quality family series and movies. Seeking out fun, new starring vehicles for Melissa Joan Hart, Executive Producer Paula Hart reviewed several anime/manga properties before one in particular caught her eye. The SG: RBHS manga called for a strong, dynamic female lead with the same qualities for which Melissa Joan Hart is famous. They immediately began looking for a writer who could do justice to “Ryoko,” the manga’s protagonist.

“Our journey led us to Dan Gordon,” Paula Hart recalled. “Dan took a few weeks reading the material and then delivered a story that had us sitting on the edges of our seats. It is smart, funny and terribly exciting.”

Dan Gordon describes the script as “a delicious action/comedy mix of ‘Clueless’ meets ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’.” It’s the story of an ancient Samurai warrior reincarnated as a twenty-something-year-old sushi bar hostess. Ryoko discovers she is mankind’s only hope in destroying a coven of murderous wolverines who are hatched every 5,000 years and-if left unchecked-will destroy all humanity.

TOKYOPOP and Hartbreak Films are now in conversations with potential studio partners for the project.

Source: TOKYOPOP Inc.