Miike Takashi on new turf in $30 mil pic

Sci-fi fantasy project set up at Real Products

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CANNES -- Japanese director Miike Takashi is to explore the sci-fi fantasy genre with "Takeru," a $30 million adaptation of a comic book by Buichi Terasawa, one of Japan's most famous manga artists credited with inventing the digital manga genre and author of "Cobra."

The project is being set up through Nagasawa Yoshiya's Real Products production house, which in 2003 was responsible for Naomi Kawase's Cannes competition title "Shara."

Based on Nagasawa's screenplay, the film is to be structured as a Pan-Asian co-production involving the Thai company Local Colour Film that co-produced Kawase's "Nanayomachi," and Chinese and Korean associates. The script is currently with an A-grade Pan-Asian talent list.

"We will use lots of green screen visuals, but Miike's intention in this adaptation is to make it as lifelike as possible," Nagasawa said.

Miike, who achieved international recognition with "Audition" is well known for his splatter violence and challenging sexuality, but recently reached more commercial audiences with "Yatterman."

Start date for "Takeru" is a tentative October 2010 and would likely follow "Thirteen Assassins," the Samurai epic that Miike has set up with the U.K.'s Jeremy Thomas and "Departures" producer Toshiaki Nakazawa.

"Takeru" has been adapted as a video game, but not as a film.