TOKYO — Winning a fierce bidding war after New Line ceded its feature production rights, Japanese major Toho will make a two-part sci-fi-horror pic based on the popular 1990s comic “Parasyte.”
New Line acquired the rights in 2005, with Takashi Shimizu (“The Grudge”) signed to direct, but the planned live-action pic never materialized.
Under Toho, the director will be Takashi Yamazaki, a CGI whiz who helmed the smash hit “Always” series, as well as the SF-fantasy hit “Space Battleship Yamato.”
Shota Sometani, who first came to international attention as a moody, violent teen in Sion Sono’s “Himizu,” will star as a teenager whose body is invaded by an alien parasite that takes over his hand instead of, like many of his fellow humans, his brain. He ends up battling for survival in a world teeming with seemingly normal but potentially deadly alien-controlled hosts.
The two-parter will begin production in Jan 2014, with the theatrical release of Part 1 set for December 2014 and Part 2 in 2015.
The original comic by Hitoshi Iwaki was published monthly in “Gekkan Afternoon” magazine from 1990 to 1995 and sold 11 million copies in paperback editions. Tokyopop of the US published 12 volumes of an English-language “Parasyte” comic, ending in 2005.