TOKYOPOP Casts Samurai Girl

Manga publisher TOKYOPOP Inc. has signed actress Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) to star in a live-action feature film adaptation of the graphic novel and anime property, Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School. Screenwriter Dan Gordon (Wyatt Earp, The Hurricane) has been brought on to script the project.

Gordon describes the story as "a delicious action/comedy mix of Clueless meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The script has an ancient Samurai warrior reincarnated as a twentysomething sushi bar hostess who may be mankind’s only hope in destroying a coven of murderous wolverines hatched every 5,000 years.

“The storyboard aspect of manga is already custom-built for film,” says Steve Galloway, TOKYOPOP’s exec director of film/television. "With Hart and Gordon attached to this story’s fast-moving adventures, we have all the makings of a terrific cinematic package for teens."

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

A pioneer of the Cine-Manga book format, TOKYOPOP’s best-selling releases include graphic novels based on Pixar’s Finding Nemo, DreamWorks’ Shrek 2, Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire and Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. The company’s animated television properties include Rave Master, Initial D, GTO and Reign: The Conqueror.