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Toei Animation plans ‘Saint Seiya’ feature

Company also producing 'Dragon Ball Z' toonpic

CANNES — Rolling off “Dragon Ball Z,” Japan’s Toei Animation is planning a bigscreen reboot of cult 1980s manga skein “Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiak.”

At Mipcom, Toei Animation chairman Kozo Morishita, who produced the “Knights of the Zodiak” skein as well as “Dragon Ball,” told Variety he is in talks with various Japanese outfits, including vidgame companies, to team on production of the feature and possibly a game.

” ‘Saint Seiya’ will have a top-level budget and will be delivered in S3D and CGI 3D,” said Morishita. “In Japan, audiences are not yet fond of stereostropic films but it’s crucial to provide a 3D version for territories like China.”

Morishita said Toei Animation will produce a 13-minute promo before the end of the year and is hoping the production will be completed in July 2013.

The exec said Toei is also considering a spinoff TV toon skein. It would be a different program from “Saint Seiya Omega,” a spinoff series which bowed in April on TV Asahi.

“In the past we’d produced a TV series first and then a film, but we’ve found that delivering a movie before embarking on a series is a great way to test the appetite of audience and limit risks,” said Morishita.

While it continues to revisit cult brands in its catalogue, Toei Animation is also collaborating with foreign shingles and is co-producing various series and film projects with international partners. Among the projects is “LadyBug,” a Paris-set fantasy toon series about a magical teen girl, produced with Gaul’s Zagtoon.

The next “Dragon Ball Z” movie will bow on March 30 in Japan.

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