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Wolfgang Petersen Develops Live-Action Paprika Film

posted on by Egan Loo
Neverending Story helmer already has script treatment from screenwriter

MTV's Splash Page blog reports that director Wolfgang Petersen (The Neverending Story, Troy, Poseidon) is developing a live-action film version of Madhouse's 2006 Paprika anime film (pictured at right). Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent) based his Paprika anime on Yasutaka Tsutsui's surreal 1993 novel of the same name. Petersen told MTV News that a young writer has given him a script treatment, and the writer will develop a full script if he receives a go-ahead. Petersen adds that writing the possible script "will go very fast because the treatment is already very detailed. So I'm very excited about that. I would say it's on the fast track."

Petersen notes that his representatives first introduced him to the story through Kon's anime film: "And I saw it and bingo, I thought this is fantastic. This is a great piece. That will be a very very interesting movie." Although he plans to make the story a little more accessible for a mainstream audience, he compares the story to The Matrix in its scope.

The original story revolve around the Institute for Psychiatric Research's psychotherapist, Atsuko Chiba, and her unrestrained alter ego, "Paprika." Chiba uses an experimental device to enter people's dreams, and Paprika is her exotic persona during these journeys. However, complications arise when a newer device blurs different people's dreams together and brings the fragile walls between dreams and reality crashing down.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Kon's anime version in North America in 2006. The British publisher Alma Books then published the original novel in English last year. Ever since 2007, Kon has been working on a new anime feature film called Yume-Miru Kikai (Yume Robo or literally, "The Dreaming Machine").

Image © 2006 Madhouse, Inc. and Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) Inc. 

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