US mini-major New Line has acquired rights to make alive-action version of Naoki Urasawa's hit comic Monster, Japanesepublisher Shogakukan has announced.

Running in Big Comic magazine from 1994 to 2001, Monsterhas sold 20 million copies in paperback editions in Japan. It has also beenmade into an animation series broadcast on the NTV network.

The story begins in 1986 in Dusseldorf, Germany, when aJapanese doctor saves the life of a genetically altered German boy - and comesto regret the consequences when he finds out years later that the boy is a killer.

Winner of the Tezuka Osamu Prize in 1999, Monsterhas been widely translated and distributed abroad. Urasawa is also responsiblefor the hit Yawara series.

The film will be produced by Trilogy Entertainment's Neil Kaplan, Pen Densham, and John Watson. Shogakukan is executive producing the project. Overseeing the project for New Line are production executives Cale Boyter and Magnus Kim.