Takashi Miike to Direct Warner Bros. Japan, Toho Co-Production Based on Manga

Takashi Miike - P 2013
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Takashi Miike - P 2013

The prolific Japanese director will helm a live-action version of the bestselling 'Jojo's Bizarre Adventure' scheduled for a summer 2017 release.

Takashi Miike will direct a live-action version of bestselling manga Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, which will be the first co-production between Warner Bros. Japan and Toho, the two companies announced Wednesday.

Toho is Japan's biggest studio and distributor, and the company behind the iconic Godzilla franchise.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable (JoJo no Kimyo na Boken Daiyamondo wa Kudakenai) is the fourth story arc of the 117-volume manga series, written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, which has sold more than 95 million copies since it first appeared in 1987.

The manga tells the tales of the Joestar family, whose members battle supernatural forces using their various special powers, known as stands. The lead character, Josuke Higashikata, will be played by Kento Yamazaki.

At a packed press conference to announce the project at Tokyo's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, a visibly nervous Yamazaki accidentally blurted out that shooting would take place in Spain, to the apparent amusement of Miike.

Miike went on to explain he had found a historical town near Barcelona that would double for the setting of Morioh town in the original manga and said he was wondering what to do about finding Japanese extras in Spain. "I'm a nervous type and didn't sleep for a few nights thinking about whether to accept the offer for this project," said Miike.

The franchise has already spawned a feature film, anime series, video games, novels and action figures. The manga was published in North America by Viz and was also released in Italy, Spain, France and Malaysia.

Japanese and English copies of the anime series and manga were recalled in 2008 when Islamic groups protested that the villain Dio Brando read a book featuring passages from the Koran before ordering the killing of the hero. Creator Araki subsequently also redrew scenes depicting characters fighting on top of mosques.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable is set for release in summer 2017. Toho and Warner Bros. Japan are planning to distribute the film globally.