NTV teams with WB to serve ‘God’

Kaneshiro horror-fantasy set for spring 2008

NTV web and Warner Bros. Japan are joining forces to produce and distrib “Shinigami no Seido” (literal translation: Accuracy of the God of Death), a horror/fantasy starring Takeshi Kaneshiro.

Kaneshiro plays a Grim Reaper who appears to his victims in human form and spends a week with them before deciding whether to off them or not. The pic is Kaneshiro’s first to be shot in Japan since the SF pic “Returners” in 2002. Manani Konishi co-stars as one of Kaneshiro’s potential victims, while Masaya Kakehi is helming. NTV and Warner are both members of the pic’s production consortium, while Warner will release the pic in Japan in the spring of 2008. The number of theaters has not yet been decided, but a Warner’s rep said that the release “will be fairly large.”pleas

The pic is based on an eponymous novel by Kotaro Isaka — the writer’s fifth to be made for the big screen.

NTV and Warner also linked to produce and distrib last year’s hit “Death Note” duology. The two pics also featured “gods of death” who use special notebooks to deal death simply by writing the victim’s name inside. The drama begins when humans find the notebooks — and use their new-found power of life-and-death to dubious ends. NTV is producing a spin-off based on the character of “L,” a reclusive genius detective who investigates the identities of the Death Note owners, with Kenichi Matsuyama reprising his role as L and Hideo Nakata (“The Ring 2,” “Kaidan”) helming. Principal photography is skedded to start in August, while Warner plans to release the pic in Japan in the first half of 2008.

The two companies are also involved in “The Sky Crawlers,” the new feature by toon auteur Mamoru Oshii.Release is skedded for 2008, with Production I.G, the toon house that has been Oshii’s long-time collaborator, handling production chores. The pic will be a co-prod of Production I.G and the NTV web, with Warner Bros. distribbing the pic in Japan.

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