PARASYTE seems so fresh, it’s easy to forget it’s based on a manga that’s been around for a couple decades, now. ANN stressed the point when they relayed a quote from Takashi Yamazaki (the director of the series’ live-action movie adaptation) about how a Hollywood adaptation would have to simplify the finer points of the story too much. As it turns out, TRANSFORMERS producer Don Murphy was actually trying to make that happen in the late 90’s, with the hope that the Henson Creature Shop would handle the monstrous transformations.
Obviously, that project never materialized, but it’s still interesting to imagine how all the freakiness in the trailer above might’ve been handled with practical puppetry. The effects look adequate in parts, but more often recall Ryuk and the other Shinigami’s cartoonish rendering in the DEATH NOTE movies. Those flicks similarly attempted to distill dozens of manga volumes into two live-action features, and… well… there was still enough simplification to make you wonder why anybody even tried.
It’s an odd business strategy, too, to release a live-action feature adaptation just as the animated TV adaptation of the exact same material is launching. SPACE BROTHERS took the same approach, and the anime still made a bigger impact worldwide.
The safer bet is that we will eventually see a Hollywood version of PARASYSTE, but it’ll be a new film drawing heavy inspiration from it, as opposed to a direct adaptation. Having seen the trailer above, does the prospect of that seem any more appealing than the two-parter we’re getting, now?