From the developing "Ninja Scroll" to the almost released "Astro Boy," manga properties are beginning to have as much movement on the big screen as American comic books—and in Japan, a decidedly hardcore manga titled "Gantz" is set to make that same leap.
Anime News Network reports that Hiroya Oku's "Gantz" will be adapted for not one, but two live-action movies starring "Letters From Iwo Jima" actor Kazunari Ninomiya and "Death Note" star Ken'ichi Matsumaya. Japanese filmmaker Shinsuke Sato is directing the project with Yusuke Watanabe writing the screenplays.
According to ANN, "Gantz" focuses on "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."
"I'm happy with just appearing in a work that I love so much," Ninomiya said of working on the project. "I'll try my very best to make everyone love it too!"
"This work has so many original and bold points," added Matsumaya. "I'm going to try to tackle the challenge of this new kind of movie."
Anime News Network acknowledged the "extremely violent nature" of "Gantz," but despite the hardcore content of the franchise, it sounds like the project is pretty high profile in Japan. Not only are the movie's leading actors well-known in Japan, but the film is reportedly budgeted at a significant $45 million, or four billion yen.
Are you a fan of "Gantz"? Is the material too hardcore for you — and is it too hardcore for live-action? Let us know what you think in the comments section!