ROME – Prolific edgy Japanese helmer Takashi Miike will be honored with a career nod by the Rome Film Festival where his hotly anticipated new pic “As the Gods Will,” considered a potential Japanese competitor to “The Hunger Games” franchise, will have its world preem.
“As the Gods Will” (pictured) is based on the popular “Kamisama no lu Tori” horror manga written by Muneyuki Kanshiro and drawn by Akeji Fujimura, about an ordinary teen whose world is turned upside down one day at school, after he and his classmates find themselves forced to play games with deadly stakes. It was serialized in Kodansha Comic Magazine from March 2011 to November 2012 and has sold 1.5 million copies in paperback editions in Japan.
Toho, which produced the pic toplining Sota Fukushi (“Amachan”), has reportedly scheduled a Fall release for the pic in Japan.
Miike, whose 2012 hit “Lessons of the Evil,” with a similarly high teen-age body count, earned $23 million at the Japanese B.O., has described “As the Gods Will” as: “They live, some heads roll, they run, blood sprays, they cry, they laugh and then they die – in other words, a fun movie.”
In praising Miike as recipient of the fest’s 2014 Maverick Director Award, Rome fest topper Marco Mueller noted that he “has tried his hand at every genre: when he has chosen to shatter them, it has always been to recompose them better in unpredictable mixes,” Mueller said in a statement.
The often provocative Miike, who has a big fan in Quentin Tarantino, has contributed to redefining genres since debuting in 1991 with bionic gangster pic “Toppuu! Minipato tai – Aikyacchi Jankushon.” Miike is one of the few Japanese directors known to Western auds, where he started gaining a following with sadistic nightmare pic “Audition,” in 1999. Other titles he is known for include ultra-violent “Ichi the Killer,” from 2001; the “Dead or Alive” yakuza trilogy; and, more recently, Spaghetti Western ripoff “Sukiyaki Western Django,” and samurai epic “13 Assassins.”
The Rome Film Festival’s 9th edition will run October 16-25.