According to Hollywood Reporter, independent production company Skydance Television has acquired global live-action rights to Sword Art Online in a partnership with Kadowawa Corp with aims of bringing the VRMMORPG sci-fi to television.
HR notes that the goal is to fast-track the launch of a new franchise by adapting the series into live-action for the first time. Laeta Kalogridis (Terminator Genisys Avatar, White House Down) is working on the script and will executive produce it alongside Skydance's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. No network has signed on yet.
Skydance describes the project
"[It] follows 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, magic 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 has VR plans for its interactive arm too
“At Skydance we are in the business of world-building and SAO is a massive pop-culture phenomenon from which we plan to launch a full-scale and wide-ranging set of live-action franchise extensions across our business verticals, beginning with television,” Skydance Media CEO Ellison said. “We look forward to working alongside Laeta, Reki Kawahara and the teams at Kadowawa and Aniplex to build out a deeply immersive new universe of SAO in an authentic way that honors its well-established fan base around the globe.”