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Patrick Massett, John Zinman Join Live-Action Sword Art Online Staff

Earlier today, American production company Skydance unveiled two new staffers for the live-action Sword Art Online TV series. The company signed a multi-year agreement with Patrick Massett and John Zinman, who will serve as show runners, executive producers, and writers on the series (along with other Skydance productions).

Massett and Zinman issued a joint statement on the reveal:

The fantastical world of SAO offers an unparalleled opportunity to tell stories that resonate on both an epic and human scale. We couldn’t ask for better partners than Skydance and Laeta to help us bring this global pop culture phenomenon to new life on television

Zinman and Massett join Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Shutter Island), who is writing the script for the pilot. Kalogridis will executive produce with Skydance president Marcy Ross, David Ellison, and Dana Goldberg.

Marcy Ross commented on the Sword Art Online project, stating:

We’re already deep in development with Patrick, John and Laeta on our larger-than-life Skydance SAO series in which we aim not only to satisfy the franchise’s enthusiastic sci-fi and anime fan base but also to appeal to new TV audiences the world over.

Patrick Massett and John Zinman are writing partners, who are best known for their work on Friday Night Lights. The series earned the duo nominations for four Writers Guild of America Awards.

Skydance announced that they were working on a live-action Sword Art Online TV series in August 2016. They describe the show as:

The all-new Skydance Television series will follow a brilliant young beta tester Kirito and his group of friends when they are trapped – alongside 10,000 other people – in a next-generation virtual reality online role-playing game. The game is a world unto itself: filled with sword fighting, monsters and mystery, where the stakes are life and death. Kirito and an ensemble of diverse characters must fight their way through this hostile environment while making lives for themselves in the fantastical world that is Sword Art Online.

Skydance is also working on a Sword Art Online virtual reality experience, which will be released after the series debuts.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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