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Kadokawa, Miike work on ‘Puzzle’

Duo team for romantic comedy

Producer Haruki Kadokawa and cult fave Takashi Miike have linked to make “Kamisama no Puzzle” (God’s Puzzle), a sci-fi romantic comedy based on a prize-winning, bestselling novel by Shinji Kimoto.

Hayato Ichihara (“Juon 2,” “Rainbow Song”) stars as twins — one a diligent student and one who is drifting through school and life. They join forces with a pretty, brilliant, dropout (Mitsuki Tanimura) to unlock the secrets of the universe and build one of their own.

Principal photography is set to start at the Nikkatsu Studio in Tokyo on Aug. 22. Release is aimed for the summer of 2008, though a distrib has yet to be locked in. 

Speaking to reporters at Nikkatsu on Friday, Kadokawa said he first read the 2002 novel while in prison on drug charges and that, though the theme seemed heavy, he saw “a strong comic element in the material” that he plans to underline with “a large helping of CG effects.”

Kadokawa’s last two pics, the 2005 WWII epic “Yamato” and 2007 Ghenghis Khan biopic “The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea,” have been large in scale and ambition, with the former earning Y5.09 billion ($46 million) at the Japanese B.O.  “Kamisama no Puzzle” is a far smaller project, but given that the helmer is Miike, an international fanboy icon for such taboo-smashing pics as “Audition” and “Ichi the Killer” and the J-Horror hit “One Missed Call,” the pic is sure to draw buyer attention.

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