The story of a lone samurai taking on impossible odds is pretty standard at this point.Created in 1970, Lone Wolf and Cub was a title to inspire ninja tales for decades to come.
Its manga ran for 28 volumes, following Ogami Itto and his son Ogami Daigoro as they travel across Japan on a quest for vengeance. Daigoro’s mother and their entire household were slaughtered as part of another man’s plan to rise to power. The series has become well known for its long form story telling and beautiful representaion of the natural surroundings. The creators, Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima also made a concerted effort to maintain its historical accuracy and depiction of this time period in Japanese culture.
Lone Wolf and Cub is a true epic that has already inspired six Japanese films and even a television series. Those films were eventually translated into English and the audience for Lone Wolf grew ever more. The original manga was re-released to American audiences under the First Comics company in 1987 before transferring to Dark Horse comics. There have been multiple sequel series: one imagining a distant future of Lone Wolf 2100 and a direct sequel series that picks up where the original ends.
A Hollywood version of the now classic story has been rumored for a while, but now there is a big name attached. Justin Lin, from the Fast and Furious films, has been announced as the director. It seems like things are moving forward at a quicker pace now; they’ve even hired writer Andrew Kevin Walker to helm the adaptation. I know people freak out about English adaptations of original anime or manga properties, but I feel like this has possibilities.
The source material can be very brutal, which might be softened for the adaptation…But a big budget Lone Wolf and Cub film could be something great if they keep it R-rated and truly about the Japanese culture rather than a hack-and-slash film.