And now, according to Deadline, Del Toro's got a new small screen project in the works, this one also at HBO. "Monster" is based on a manga series by Naoki Urasawa (author of "20th Century Boys" and "Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl") about a doctor who chooses, "Royal Pains"-style, to operate on a wounded boy instead of the mayor of Düsseldorf, who arrived after him. The choice has a serious cost to the doctor, not just because the mayor ends up dying, but because the boy and his twin sister turn out to be involved in some dark secrets in which the protagonist becomes entangled. The 18-volume series was originally published by Shogakukan and ran from 1994-2001, later being adapted by Madhouse into a 74-episode anime series.
Del Toro will co-write the adaptation with Stephen Thompson, who's written for "Doctor Who" and "Sherlock," with Del Toro directing the pilot Thompson will script. Del Toro will be executive producer alongside Angry Films' Don Murphy and Susan Montford and Exile's Gary Ungarand, with Thompson co-executive producing. "Monster" was originally a film project at New Line, but according to Deadline proved too large a story to work well in feature form.
While a Japanese comic book adaptation is new ground for HBO, the premium network's had huge success with "Game of Thrones," based on a fantasy novel series, so high-end genre fare is obviously working out well for the company.