‘Sword Art Online’ English Live Action TV Show Gets A Producer/Writer: Laeta Kalogridis Signs Deal For Netflix’s ‘SAO’ U.S. Series Based On Anime And ‘Altered Carbon’

Anime fans looking forward to the Sword Art Online English version have a reason to rejoice. Laeta Kalogridis has been signed on by Skydance Television for two additional projects. The Avatar, Shutter Island, and Terminator Genisys alum has been brought in for the sci-fi series, Altered Carbon, and the live-action English version of popular Japanese novel and anime franchise, Sword Art Online.

Laeta Kalogridis Signs Deal With Skydance Television To Produce 'Altered Carbon' and 'Sword Art Online’ For Netflix
[Image by Jim Spellman/Getty Images]

Skydance Television has signed a multi-year overall deal with Kalogridis. Under the deal with the independent studio, the writer-producer will continue to create and develop projects for the company. Her first two projects for Skydance are the previously announced and much-awaited Netflix straight-to-series adaptation of Altered Carbon, starring Joel Kinnaman, as well as the first-ever English take on the Japanese novel and anime franchise, Sword Art Online, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Besides these two series, Kalogridis has written the first X-Men, as well as Tomb Raider, Scream 3, Bionic Woman, and Pathfinder. Needless to say, her expertise in visualizing futuristic dystopian worlds where resources are limited and dangers aplenty would certainly help in keeping the current projects full of immersive plots and twists that are bound to take them beyond the first season.

Speaking about Kalogridis. Skydance CEO Ellison said, “Laeta is truly a visionary talent and we are incredibly honored that she has elected to make Skydance her creative home. Both Altered Carbon and Sword Art Online are epic stories that span massive worlds, and I can think of no greater artist than Laeta to bring these two series to the screen.”

Kalogridis will shoulder the responsibilities of writer and executive producer for both the series. She will be working alongside Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross.

Speaking about the developments, Kalogridis said, “David and the entire team at Skydance have been so good to me over the last couple of years, giving me a great deal of artistic license and creative freedom to see the vision for my projects come to life, and I am beyond excited to extend this partnership into the future.”

While Altered Carbon has a fairly linear storyline, Sword Art Online, or SAO, has a pretty massive and expansive plot with many primary and dozens of secondary characters. The series has spawned a series of immensely popular video games. SAO’s highly immersive storyline has spurred several online discussion forums that would undoubtedly offer organic promotion.

Meanwhile, the hotly anticipated Sword Art Online Season 3 anime is expected to only cover a portion of the currently published Alicization story arc. Moreover, despite what the fans demand, they would have to wait a little more to find what happens between the protagonist, Kirito, and Asuna.

It is become apparent that Skydance Television wants to produce and broadcast more content as it looks to ramp up its television output. Kalogridis is the studio’s third overall deal, reported World Screen. Prior to signing her, Skydance inked similar deals with Michael B. Jordan and Marti Noxon. Among other projects that Skydance Television is producing are Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, Spike’s Red Mars, Amazon’s Jack Ryan, AMC’s Dietland, and ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley.

Under a three-year deal signed earlier this year that was rumored to involve a seven-figure sum, Noxon was tasked with creating and developing new projects for Skydance, beginning with a drama titled Dietland that’s based on the novel of the same name by Sarai Walker. As for Jordan, Skydance studio signed him in October. Jordan had launched a production company and subsequently signed a multiyear first-look film and TV production deal with Skydance Media. He is expected to take up Apollo Park, a “scripted drama that revolves around a young basketball player’s rapid rise to professional fame, and the effects of his success on his family and community back in inner-city Detroit.”

Skydance has been planning live-action adaptation of Sword Art Online for some time now. The studio had acquired global live action rights to Sword Art Online in partnership with Kadokawa Corp in August. However, back then, a network was not attached to the deal. Based on the popular series of 22 books by author Reki Kawahara and published by Kadokawa, Sword Art Online has spawned nine comic adaptations published by Kadokawa, two popular video games, as well as two anime television series adaptations. Besides Kalogridis’ version of SAO, fans are impatiently waiting for the animated film, Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale, which is slated for early 2017 release.

[Image by IBM]