MIPCOM: Adam Shankman Boards Remake of Japanese Hit Series

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Adam Shankman

'Everybody Loves Raymond's Phil Rosenthal and Tucker Cawley will pen 'Train Man,' based on a show from Japan's Fuji Television.

Adam Shankman has boarded Train Man, with the Rock of Ages director set to executive produce and direct the Japanese hit into a half-hour musical series.

The series will be penned by Everybody Loves Raymond's Phil Rosenthal and Tucker Cawley, who also will serve as showrunners.

It's the first American remake for a Fuji Television Network series, which broke records and became a cultural phenomenon in Japan when it aired in 2005.

The show will be produced under Shankman's Global Road deal, with Global Road, Vertigo Entertainment and Amuse Group USA also on board.

Roy Lee (The Departed, The Ring), Vertigo Entertainment's Michael Connolly, Offspring Entertainment's Jennifer Gibgot, Amuse USA's Tatsuro Hatanaka and Fuji TV's Satoshi Kubota will executive produce.

The series based on a true story tale revolves around a nerdy young man who, with encouragement from his online comic book chat room, is urged to pursue a relationship with a girl he meets on a train. 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Adam Schlesinger is also on board to create the music, which is envisioned as two to three musical numbers per 25-minute show.

Connolly said that the story was "really ahead of its time in the way it used a social media platform to tell a Cyrano story." 

He was interested in the project back in 2015 and it took three years to get the one-hour drama into a format that would work for American audiences.

"You don't remake IP for the sake of the IP," said Connolly. "There are some cultural differences when adapting formats and you have to find your way in." 

“I couldn't be more excited to be working with this fantastic team. Phil and Tucker have created some of the most hilarious and heartfelt work on television, and I cannot wait to work together on this project that so speaks to our collective hopes, dreams, successes and failures,” said Shankman. “The concept of Train Man, his public and private faces, his fears and foibles, is so ripe for serialization and musicalization.”

“Safe to say, with this unique source material and these incredible talents, Train Man is going to be unlike anything else out there. We're honored to be the studio for such an auspicious project,” said Global Road Television president of scripted Mark Stern.

Global Road signed a first-look deal with Shankman and Gibgot's Offspring Entertainment in January. The first two projects in the pipeline are a young Amadeus titled Wolfgang, and an untitled comedy with actor-producers Carlos and Alexa PenaVega.