Rurouni Kenshin Manga Gets Live-Action Film in 2012 (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
22-year-old actor Takeru Satoh (Kamen Rider Den-O, Rookies, Beck, Ryōmaden) will star in a live-action film adaptation of Nobuhiro Watsuki's Rurouni Kenshin samurai manga next year. Keishi Ōtomo will direct Satoh on this new film, just as he did in last year's NHK historical television series Ryōmaden. Warner Brothers Pictures Japan is producing with its president William Ireton, while Studio Swan (Paradise Kiss) is in charge of the actual film production.
The Sankei Sports newspaper adds that the staff aims to release the film internationally and eventually make a series. This will be the first live-action adaptation of the manga.
Producer Shinzō Matsuhashi commented, "Satoh has the looks and stature to be a proper Kenshin." Watsuki added that when this project was just starting, he and his wife were discussing who should play Kenshin, and decided that Satoh topped the list.
Satoh himself said that he was a huge fan of the original manga when he was in elementary school and when the manga was still running. "It was the manga that everyone in my generation knew." He added that he and his friends would play around by pretending to sword-fight. Satoh began intensive training in sword-fighting earlier this month, and filming will begin in July.
Nobuhiro Watsuki's original 1994-1999 manga ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and the resulting 28 compiled books volumes have 50 million copies in print. The manga inspired a television anime series that is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Viz Media published the manga in North America, and Media Blasters' AnimeWorks label released the television anime.
ADV Films released two later original video anime projects and a film on DVD, and Aniplex is releasing these three titles on Blu-ray Disc this year. in April, Shueisha announced that a new Rurouni Kenshin anime project has been green-lit.
Update: More background information added.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history