Imagine Ent., Japan’s ANEW Partner For ‘Tiger & Bunny’ Adaptation

Imagine Ent., Japan’s ANEW Partner For
Courtesy of Imagine Entertainment

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment has partnered with All Nippon Entertainment Works and Bandai Namco Pictures to produce a live action adaptation of “Tiger & Bunny,” a hit Japanese anime series.

The “Tiger & Bunny” franchise features heroic crime fighters operating in Stern Bild, a fictionalized, near future version of New York City. Announcement of the English-language project was made Friday at the New York Comic Con.

Created by Masayuki Ozaki and produced by the Sunrise studio, the franchise was launched in 2011 as both a manga and anime series that played on late night TV. It quickly gave rise to two feature movies and even a stage play in 2012.

The live action film adaptation is being produced by Grazer, Howard, ANEW’s Sandy Climan and Annmarie Bailey, and Ozaki on behalf of Bandai Namco Pictures. Imagine’s president Erica Huggins will oversee the new film on behalf of Imagine Entertainment.

ANEW is a studio that connects Hollywood with a consortium of Japanese intellectual property owners to develop films, books, toys, animation, and Manga, into global English-language motion pictures and television. It is backed by a public-private investment fund affiliated with the Japanese government.

Other projects on its development slate include the adaptation of “6000,” in association with producer Mike Medavoy; “SOUL ReVIVER,” in association with Fields Corp. and Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of Bedford Falls Prods.; a live action remake of Toei Animation’s robot anime “Gaiking,” with Gale Ann Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment; and three projects with Chris and Paul Weitz’s Depth of Field company “Shield of Straw,” “Birthright,” and “Ghost Train.”

“We had never seen a great buddy story bring together so many uniquely compelling elements.  Barnaby and Tiger are immensely dynamic characters, with a psychologically complex relationship with one another,” said Howard in a prepared statement.

Negotiations extended over a period of years. “It was a Herculean team effort, but after actively pursuing the live-action rights, we are honored that the director Keiichi Sato, producer Masayuki Ozaki and the original creators have put their trust in us to share these much-loved characters to a whole new audience,” said Bailey, ANEW’s senior VP of development and production.

“During the deal talks, our chief focus was to ensure continuing involvement by the original creators to maintain quality, and flexibility which would allow the original work to continue,” said Ozaki.