Donald Tang’s Global Road Entertainment is partnering with Bandai Namco Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures to produce and distribute “Tiger & Bunny,” a live-action, English-language film based on the hit Japanese anime series of the same name.
The film is being written by Ellen Shanman. The story takes place in a near-futuristic city called Stern Bild, where professional superheroes fight crime and save lives on the popular show “Hero TV.” The show’s veteran, Tiger, is challenged by the younger, more dashing Bunny. But confronted by a super-powered terrorist, the two must join forces.
The property was launched in 2011 as a manga (cartoon) and anime (series) that played on late-night TV. The final, 25th episode ended with a live-viewing event in multiplexes across Japan. It was followed by two animated feature films, “Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning,” in 2012, and “Tiger & Bunny: The Rising,” in 2014. It has since spawned live-action stage shows, exhibitions, concerts and merchandising for Bandai Namco.
“After a long voyage, we have finally reached new ground. We are determined to live up to our supporters’ and fans’ expectations and bring this exciting project to life,” said Bandai Namco’s Masayuki Ozaki.
In 2015, Bandai Namco Pictures, then known as Sunrise Studios, announced that it had set up the live-action film with Imagine and All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW). ANEW was a company that connected Hollywood with a consortium of Japanese intellectual property owners to develop global English-language films and television based on popular Japanese IPs. Backed by a public-private investment fund affiliated with the Japanese government, ANEW is exiting the project.
The film is to be produced by Bandai Namco Pictures’ Ozaki; Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Erica Huggins; and Weed Road’s Goldsman. Global Road will pitch the project to distributors this week at the Cannes Film Market.
Global Road was established last year from the merger of sales and finance entity IM Global with North American distributor Open Road Films, both of which were acquired by Tang Media Partners in 2017. In February, GRE chairman and CEO Rob Friedman committed the company to $1 billion of production spend on a slate of movies to be distributed and sold over the next three years.
By 2020, Global Road aims to be involved with 15 to 20 wide-release movies per year in the U.S. and Canada, of which eight or nine would be developed internally, Friedman told Variety. Production budgets are pegged in the $20 million to $100 million range.
POPULAR ON VARIETY: