by Chris MaGee
While the popularity of the J-Horror craze has cooled worldwide one of its key directors continues to be a hot property, namely Takashi Shimizu. Not only has Shimizu turned his most popular film franchise "Ju-on (The Grudge)" into a video game for Nintendo Wii (read Matt Hardstaff's review of the game here), but he's also been making cameo appearances in the comedy/ gore/ horror films of friends like Noboru Iguchi and Yoshihiro Nishimura as well as helming Japan's very first 3D feature film, "Shock Labyrinth" (read our full coverage of "Shock Labyrinth" here). Now word has come from Bloody Disgusting (via Todd Brown at Twitch) that Shimizu may be slated to adapt the work of one of today's top animators into a live-action film.
Apparently Shimizu has signed on, or is in negotiations to produce and possibly help write a live-action film of Satoshi Kon's 2004 WOWOW animated TV series "Paranoia Agent". That series followed the twists and turns of a police investigation into the attack of an anime character designer's attack by a mysterious teenager nicknamed Lil' Slugger. At first police suspect that the character designer, named Tsukiko, is making up a story, but when a rash of attacks by Lil' Slugger who wields a bent aluminum baseball bat are reported around Tokyo things get much more complicated and surreal.
I have to admit that outside of specific scenes that I've been shown I'm not terribly familiar with "Paranoia Agent" (yet), but I love Kon's films "Millennium Actress" and "Perfect Blue", respect Todd Brown's long professed love for the series, and can't think of another director who could capture the reality twisting suspense of Kon's animated universe better than Takashi Shimizu (okay, maybe Katsuhiro Tomo who directed Satoshi Kon's script for "World Apartment Horror", but I digress...) We'll definitely keep our ear to the ground for more details on this proposed adaptation. Keep checking back.