Award winning manga author Naoki Urasawa can seem like a product manager as much as much as a artist, as he steers teams of research assistants and illustrators. He's also known for his demands, such as the order in which his series have been released in North America. So, it's not surprising to learn that he has very specific parameters for how the HBO live action version of his Monster can be developed.
HBO and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro are teaming to the adapt of Urasawa's medical/morality/crime/cold war psycho-thriller manga. Del Toro will co-write the story with Steven Thompson (Dr. Who, Sherlock). Thompson will write the pilot, which del Toro intends to direct.
At last weekend's Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Festival, he commented that he just submitted what he considers to be a very respectful adaptation of the manga in a pilot script to HBO.
In order to get permission, he needed to agree to submit an outline of every episode of the theoretical first season to Urasawa. Del Toro added that series would have a relatively short total length as it will strictly follow the manga’s 18 volumes with nothing added to increase seasons or episode count.
A 2004 Madhouse anime adaptation similarly stuck close to the manga.