Live-Action Gantz Films to Be Screened in Singapore
posted on by Egan Loo
The Sports Hochi newspaper reports on Friday that the decision has already been made to screen the live-action film versions of Hiroya Oku's Gantz manga in Singapore — despite the fact that the two films have not been previewed or even completed. Over 45 companies from 13 countries and regions have also made inquiries about acquiring the distribution rights.
The newspaper attributes the worldwide interest in the films to the original science-fiction action manga's popularity in America, France, and other Western countries. The films' two stars, 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), have also found some success overseas. Shinsuke Sato (The Princess Blade, Suna-dokei, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror) is directing the films. The first film will open in Japan in the beginning of 2011, and the second film will open in the spring.
The production company NTV is showing 4 minutes of the films' promotional footage at this week's Film Market in Cannes, France. (The city is also hosting the Cannes Film Festival competition at the same time.)
In addition to Ninomiya and Matsuyama, Takayuki Yamada (Train Man, Crows Zero, H2: Kimi to Ita Hibi) is also starring in the films as "the mysterious man Shigeta." The two main stars each have 10 of the 500,000-yen (about US$5,400) rubber "Gantz Suits," which they wear when fighting in the films' story.
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.
Image © 2001 Gantz Film Partners