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.
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's name has surfaced in connection with "Panic," with the actor holding a conversation on the project. Efron, already a heartthrob among the teen audiences to whom the project could appeal, is also honing the action-adventure side of his career with a potential attachment to the Warner Bros. adventure "Jonny Quest."
Mandalay, which counts the environmental drama "Peaceable Kingdom" among its projects, has a first-look deal at Universal but has not yet set up "Panic" at a studio.