New Live-Action City Hunter Reportedly Heading to USA
posted on by Egan Loo
South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reports that the American company Fox Television Studios signed a tentative agreement to co-produce and distribute a joint Korean-Japanese live-action adaptation of Tsukasa Hojo's City Hunter detective comedy manga. The South Korean media company SSD had already casted the popular Korean star Jung Woo-sung (Beat, A Moment to Remember) in the lead role of Ryō Saeba, a private eye with unrivaled marksmanship and an over-the-top obsession for the opposite sex. SSD had previously produced The Legend historical drama series which featured music by Joe Hisaishi, the composer of almost every Studio Ghibli film.
The live-action project was initially planned as four separate "seasons," with each season featuring a different cast and a different city — Tokyo, Seoul, New York, or Paris — as its locale. However, the plans have changed since then, and Jung is now slated to star throughout the duration of the project. Chosun Ilbo reports that the main female protagonist, Ryō's partner Kaori, has not been casted yet. Shooting is scheduled to begin next year.
The original City Hunter manga had already been adapted into four television anime series, one anime movie, and several video and television specials. ADV Films released most of these anime projects in North America. Actor Jackie Chan infamously took on the role of Ryō in a live-action Hong Kong comedy action film loosely inspired by the manga. Coincidentally, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment distributes this 1992 City Hunter film in North America. Hojo has since drawn an Angel Heart spinoff to his City Hunter manga, and that manga has also been adapted into anime for television.
Update: The Korean public broadcaster KBS also reports on this upcoming television project. According to KBS, the project's first season of 13 episodes will be written in English, casted with Hollywood stars alongside Jung, and shot in Seoul and Tokyo. Fox TV Studios had previously produced The Shield and Burn Notice for America's FX and USA Networks, respectively.
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