Japanese manga “Wicked City” is to be retooled as a live-action English-language pic by Germany’s Stallion Film, with “Spawn” helmer Mark Dippe to direct and co-produce.
Sci-fi actioner concerns beasts from a parallel dimension and a secret resistance organization trying to prevent the apocalypse.
Original books by Hideyuki Kikuchi, bestsellers in the early 1980s, were adapted as anime “Yoju toshi” by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Stallion has acquired rights, and Dippe and Johnny Hartmann are penning the screenplay.
With a $50 million-$60 million budget, “Wicked City” will lense early next year.
Production is by Stallion partners Oliver Hengst and Elizabeth Wang-Lee with L.A.-based Convergence Entertainment’s Tim Kwok (“The Medallion”).
International sales are handled by L.A.-based Inferno Distribution, with which Stallion has a first-look arrangement. Production coin will come from Inferno and Stallion.
Stallion and Hengst have been involved with several German media funds, including IMF and MHF-Academy Film, and with Intermedia.
Hengst, whose exec producer credits include “Laws of Attraction” and “The Whole Ten Yards,” also is co-founder of Kolosseum Media, which procures film investments and facilitates international co-productions.
Inferno is handling Stallion’s John Carpenter-helmed “The 13th Apostle” and “The Good Night,” a comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Penelope Cruz.
Kwok is exec producer on “Lone Wolf & Cub” at Paramount and “Clocktower” at indie shingle the Mayhem Project.