'Takeru' puts Miike in new budget orbit


Japanese director Takashi Miike will explore the sci-fi fantasy genre with "Takeru," a $30 million adaptation of a comic book by Buichi Terasawa, one of Japan's best-known manga artists and the man credited with inventing the digital manga genre.

The project is being set up through Yoshiya Nagasawa'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 will be structured as a Pan-Asian co-production involving the Thai company Local Colour Film, which co-produced Kawase's "Nanayomachi," and Chinese and Korean associates. The script is out to a Pan-Asian talent list.

"We will use lots of greenscreen 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 known for his splatter violence and challenging sexuality but recently reached more commercial audiences with "Yatterman."

The start date for "Takeru" is set for October 2010 and would follow "Thirteen Assassins," the Samurai epic Miike has set up with the U.K.'s Jeremy Thomas and "Departures" producer Toshiaki Nakazawa. (partialdiff)