×

Annecy Winner Masaaki Yuasa Unveils ‘Inu-Oh’ as Next Project (EXCLUSIVE)

Previous Annecy Cristal-winner Masaaki Yuasa is set to direct an animated musical fantasy film based on the life of a 14th century Japanese playwright and theater performer. His “Inu-Oh” is being introduced at Annecy’s MIFA market this week and is intended to be completed in 2021.

The film is adapted from the novel “Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh” written by Hideo Furukawa, and published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha. “Very little remains in the historical record about the Sarugaku Noh performer Inu-Oh, but with Hideo Furukawa’s bold interpretation of his story, Akiko Nogi’s script, and Taiyo Matsumoto’s images, it’s bound to become an amazing work,” said Yuasa. He said that he aims to make it as a “lavish musical incorporating modern-day music and dance.”

The project is produced through Science Saru, with Asmik Ace partnered as producer and distributor.

Yuasa made his feature-length debut in 2004 with “Mind Game,” and followed up with “Ping Pong: The Animation” “Night Is Short,” “Walk On Girl” and “Devilman Crybaby.” In 2017 his “Lu over the Wall,” took the best film award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. He is poised to see his new “Ride Your Wave” release on 21 June, and is currently working on the films “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!” (aka “Eizouken ni wa Te o Dasu na!”) and “Super Shiro.”

Manga artist, Matsumoto previously worked with Yuasa on “Ping Pong.” His other credits include “Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White,” for which he won the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in 2008, and “Les Chats de Louvre.” Nogi has screenwriting credits on live-action film “I Am a Hero” and the live-action TV series “We Married as a Job!” and “Unnatural.” “Inu-Oh” is her first time writing an animated feature.

With its roots in film distribution, Asmik Ace has been part of the Jupiter Telecommunications group, Japan’s largest cable TV conglomerate, since 2012. This has helped it diversify into different film roles including film (Ryota Nakano’s “A Long Goodbye,” and Mina Ninagawa’s “No Longer Human”) and TV production (“Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san”).

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content