by Chris MaGee
It seems that a week can't go by without some announcement of a manga being adapted into a live-action feature film, and this week isn't any different... although this one (if done right) could actually be pretty cool. Kevin Ouellette over at Nippon Cinema is reporting that screenwriter and "Hottarake no shima" director will be bringing Hiroya Oku’s manga "Gantz" to the screen in not one, but two feature films.
I have to be honest and say that I'm not terribly familiar with Oku's manga or the animated TV series it spawned, but at first glance the concept behind "Gantz" is pretty darn intriguing/ preposterous, like a strange mix of post-mortum Nova Mob-era William Burroughs and "Men in Black". Two college-age kids, Kei Kurano and Masaru Kato die after being hit by a subway train only to discover their end is their beginning. They along with other recently deceased people are recruited by a mysterious entity called Gantz to find and kill aliens hiding here on Earth. It's the proposed casting for this live-action "Gantz" that makes things even more intriguing.
Sure you have ARASHI member Kazunari Ninomiya as Kurano, but Kurano's partner Kato is apparently being played by Ken'ichi Matsuyama, one of the most interesting and talented young actors going at the moment in Japan. We'll have to wait until 2011 to see how these two "Gantz" films fare in bringing the manga to life, but for now I have to say that this is a manga adaptation that I'm actually kind of looking forward to.