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Gantz Sci-Fi Manga Made Into 2 Live-Action Films in 2011 (Update 4)

posted on by Egan Loo
Arashi's Ninomiya, Death Note's Matsuyama to star; Princess Blade's Sato to direct

The NTV News 25 program and Sports Hochi newspaper report on Thursday that Hiroya Oku's Gantz science-fiction action manga will be adapted into two live-action films starring Kazunari Ninomiya (Tekkonkinkreet, Letters from Iwo Jima) of the Arashi musical group and award-winning actor Ken'ichi Matsuyama (Death Note, Detroit Metal City, NANA, The Legend of Kamui). Shinsuke Satō (The Princess Blade, Suna-dokei, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror) is directing.

The story follows a young Tokyo college student who is reanimated after a deadly subway accident. Kei Kurono (Ninomiya) and his friend Masaru Kato (Matsuyama) go on violent, seemingly endless missions at the behest of an unseen host.

This is the first time that these two well-known actors have worked together. Filming begins next month and is slated to end next April. The two leads have been undergoing training and practicing action sequences. The films will open in the winter and spring of 2011.

Oku just returned from a three-month hiatus to launch the "Final Phase" of his Gantz manga in this year's 44th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump magazine on Thursday. Gantz has been running in the magazine since July of 2000, and the 26 current volumes have sold over 10 million copies.

Dark Horse Comics announced at Anime Expo 2007 that it licensed the manga for North America, and it will publish the eighth volume next month. ADV Films released Gonzo's television anime adaptation of the manga.

Update: More background information added. The project will be split into two films.

Update 2: According to the Mainchi Shimbun paper, Yūsuke Watanabe (20th Century Boys trilogy, Robo Rock, Bloody Monday, Kami no Shizuku, Yasuko to Kenji) is writing the screenplays. Takahiro Satō (Death Note, 20th Century Boys) is producing the project, and Digital Frontier (Summer Wars, Appleseed, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone) is in charge of the CG work.

Update 3: Young Jump has launched a site for the movies.

Update 4: The project is budgeted at 4 billion yen (about US$45 million). Addressing the extremely violent nature of the movie, Ninomiya said, "I'm happy with just appearing in a work that I love so much! I'll try my very best to make everyone love it too!" Matsuyama said, "This work has so many original and bold points. I'm going to try to tackle the challenge of this new kind of movie."

Thank you to Diana Hy for this additional information.

Source: Zoom In!! Super

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