Toon maker pacts for 2 sequel pix

Micott, Axis gather 'Appleseed'

NEW YORK — As motion capture animation gains steam at a theater near you, Micott & Bazara, the Japanese creators of the upcoming toon import “Appleseed,” has pacted with nascent Axis Entertainment to co-produce two sequels in the franchise together.

Combining motion-capture and new technology called “toon-shading,” which gives 3D characters a 2D comicbook look, “Appleseed” is being spit out domestically through Geneon Entertainment on Jan. 14.

Geneon, which launched its distribution and marketing arm this year, is a supplier of Japanese animation in the U.S., with a library that includes “Akira” and “Sailor Moon.” Company is a unit of Tokyo-based ad giant Dentsu.

Micott & Basara and Los Angeles-based Axis are further planning on co-creating an “Appleseed” TV series and a possible live-action feature.

The units are seeking worldwide distribution on the various projects. Toho handled the “Appleseed” release in Japan. The first film was directed by designer-turned-helmer Shinji Aramaki. Pic features a soundtrack with dance mavens Basement Jaxx and Paul Oakenfold.

Based on a manga favorite, “Appleseed” follows the adventures of a female warrior and her cyborg lover. The duo try to stop a plot to destroy the balance of power between humans and a race of cybernetic clones.

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