Miike to direct live-action ninja film

Helmer to adapt child ninja anime series

TOKYO – Takashi Miike is to direct a live-action version of “Nintama Rantaro,” an NHK comedy anime series about child ninjas.
The prolific Miike (“Crows Zero”) previously turned his hand to live-action adaptations of anime with “Yatterman,” released last year. Known for the extreme violence in many of his early yakuza (Japanese gangster) films, he has recently shifted to more mainstream films.
Seishiro Kato, the 8-year-old actor who was omnipresent on TV screens last year in everything from Toyota ads to dramas, will take the lead.
Based on a manga by Soubee Amako, the story of apprentices at a ninjutsu school in the 15th century Sengoku (Warring States) period was made into an animated feature in 1996 and a musical this year.
No further details have yet been announced.
While Miike has at least three other projects in the pipeline, he has been known to direct up to six films in a year.
Miike’s “Zebraman 2” is released on May 1.