Reddit user Zarting has shared a poster for a live-action adaptation of One Punch Man in which they cast Ryan Reynolds as series protagonist Saitama. For various reasons, Reynolds could very well deliver a decent performance as the character, and other Reddit users seem to agree. So far, Zarting’s work has received mostly positive responses.
For those of you who are not familiar with the source material, One Punch Man is a Japanese web comic turned manga turned anime. A clever parody of the oh-so popular superhero genre, it centers on a wannabe vigilante who is so powerful that he can – as the name of the series suggests – defeat any foe with just one punch.
Because its protagonist is so strong, One Punch Man derives its intrigue not from suspenseful fight scenes but stellar character development. Saitama’s problems, in other words, do not revolve around saving the world or battling personal demons. Rather, he’s depressed because he cannot find a worthy adversary.
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Saitama often comes across as un-intimidating and dimwitted, but only because his absurdly strong powers prevent him from ever feeling intimidated. This juxtaposition is the crux of the series’ comedy, and any actor who would portray Saitama on screen would have to nail it. That, of course, is easier said than done.
In the past, we’ve seen fan art that’s cast Dwayne Johnson as Saitama. And while both are bald and very strong, the casting choice doesn’t really work, as The Rock is still an incredibly large and considerably fearsome man. Reynolds, being smaller and less intense, might make for a better choice.
And Reddit users agree. As one of them puts it, the actor “certainly nails the “unremarkable” Saitama look” and adds that it would be “funny if they change actors every time Saitama shifts from his normal to his serious forms and vice versa.” This would indeed be a very clever idea, one that could warrant The Rock appearing in a One Punch Man movie after all.