Mamoru Oshii's Garm Wars Film to Open in Japan on May 20

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

Toei revealed on Thursday that it will distribute Mamoru Oshii's live-action film Garm Wars: The Last Druid in Japan, and will release it on May 20 with a Japanese dub. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki — who last worked with Oshii 12 years ago on Ghost in the Shell: Innocence — is producing the Japanese version, while Gen Urobuchi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass) is writing the Japanese script. Ryoichi Uchikoshi (Hacka Doll the Animation, RWBY) is directing the dub. The film's Japanese release is simply titled Garm Wars.

The Japanese dub cast stars Romi Park as Khara (played by Melanie St-Pierre in the original version), Haruhiko Jo as Wydd (Lance Henriksen), and Takanori Hoshino as Skellig (Kevin Durand).

Suzuki stated that he "tried to change the impression of the film without changing the content of a single line," and said that the opportunity to do that was a main reason he accepted work on the film.

The Nakamura Group Advantage describes the film's story:

Taking place in a world of war known as Annwn, Garm Wars sets the scene with clone soldiers from 3 military tribes, in a bloody and perpetual battle of air, land and technology. One clone, Khara, finds herself separated from battle and on the run with unlikely companions. In seeking to know more about their joint existence, the fugitives instead find an unrelenting truth and the greatest battle of their lives.

The English-language film premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October 2014 as part of the festival's Special Screening Section. Arc Entertainment acquired the U.S. rights to the film, and released it in U.S. theaters and video-on-demand last October.

The film is the first live-action English-language film by Oshii, the director of the first two Ghost in the Shell films, The Sky Crawlers, and the live-action film Avalon. Tokyo International Film Festival states that the film uses "Hybrid Animation," a technique to combine CGI and live-action filming.

Geoffrey Gunn (Fangs of War) collaborated on the English-language script, and producer and Production I.G President Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (Ghost in the Shell, The Sky Crawlers) once again worked with Oshii. Ken Nakamura (Fangs of War, Provocateur), the CEO of the Nakamura Group Advantage, also produced the film with Tetsu Fujimura (Tekken), the head of the Japanese movie business consulting firm Filosophia. Lon Molnar, the head of the visual effects studio Intelligent Creatures, served as the VFX supervisor.

Oshii began development on the film over 16 years ago, just after finishing the first Ghost in the Shell film at Production I.G in 1995. The Japanese company Bandai Visual had unveiled the project in 1997 under the tentative title of G.R.M. The Record of Garm War (Garumu Senki). Oshii postponed the film and announced it again in 2012, stating that, "At that time, the digital environment needed to realize the visuals was too undeveloped, and I was unable to create and release this film to the world."

Source: Anime! Anime!

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