Live-action version of Full Metal Panic anime is headed for the big screen

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Mandalay Pictures has acquired theatrical rights to and will develop a big-screen version of Full Metal Panic, a Japanese manga series that blends action, comedy and high school romance, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The property derives from writer Shoji Gatoh's series about a teenage anti-terrorist commando named Sousuke Sagara, who is given the mission to protect a high-school girl with mystical powers.

Panic, which is set in a world almost exclusively without adults, is known for mixing visceral action with wry comedy.

Zac Efron (17 Again) has surfaced in connection with Panic, with the actor holding a conversation on the project.

Born as a serialized novel from Gatoh and the illustrator Shiki Douji, Panic was developed in the early 2000s as a Japanese anime by the Asian firm Kyoto Animation and eventually also yielded a spinoff series.

An English-language version was produced and released in the United States on home video by ADV Films.