×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Danny Ramirez to Star in Film Adaptation of ‘Root Letter’ Video Game (EXCLUSIVE)

An English-language film adaptation of Japanese video game “Root Letter,” starring Danny Ramirez, is in production in the U.S. through Akatsuki Entertainment USA. Besides Ramirez (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Assassination Nation”), the film stars Keana Marie (“Huge in France,” “Life in Pieces”) and Lydia Hearst (“The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” “Z Nation”).

With a screenplay by David Ebeltoft (2016 Tribeca Film Festival’s “Here Alone”), the film is intended as a gritty re-imagining of the game’s core story of a protagonist in search of a former pen pal who disappears under curious circumstances.

The underlying Kadokawa-published game has two main gameplay sequences. First, the player interrogates people who knew the missing girl. Then the player relives the missing years and makes use of clues gathered earlier.

The game was first published in 2016 and has been made available on platforms including PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Android and iOS. It sold more than 400,000 copies in Japan and overseas, and is also available on Steam and Nintendo Switch.

The film adaptation began shooting Monday in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is being directed by Sonja O’Hara (“Doomsday”), who is making her feature directorial debut. Akatsuki Entertainment USA president Annmarie Sairrino Bailey is producer, alongside the company’s Tokyo-based Moeko Suzuki and Los Angeles-based Kat McPhee.

Akatsuki Entertainment is the U.S.-based arm of Japanese mobile gaming company Akatsuki Inc., which was formed in 2010 and focuses on the production of games for mobile phones and tablets, with a niche in social games. It has offices in Tokyo and Taiwan, 200 employees, and enjoyed operating profits of JPY4.75 billion ($42.4 million) in 2016-2017. Akatsuki has launched a Live Experience search and reservation platform for experience-based entertainment such as special events in Japan.

“David Ebeltoft’s version of ‘Root Letter’ absolutely ticked both boxes of an intriguing story and characters that will resonate with audiences,” Bailey said. “It inspires the complex and heartbreaking world he has re-imagined based on the original story.”

Ramirez recently wrapped shooting on director Katharine O’Brien’s “Lost Transmissions,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year; Richard Bates Jr.’s “Tone-Deaf”; David Raboy’s “The Giant”; and director Peter Bishai’s “Rapid Eye Movement.”

Ramirez is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Hansen, Jacobsen, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warrant, Richman, Rush & Kaller. Marie is represented by Innovative Artists and Alan Siegel Entertainment. Hearst is represented by Buchwald, Management Production Entertainment, Narrative PR and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis. O’Hara is represented by WME, Industry Entertainment, Pulse Films, Serge PR, and Fox Rothschild.

More Film

  • CGV movie theatre Seoul South KoreaCGV

    Korean Law To Limit Film Releasing Monopolies

    The Korean government is to make it illegal to show a single film on more than 50% of screens nationwide. The move is intended to prevent “screen monopolies by blockbuster films” and to “address unfair competition practices in the film industry.” The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that it will revise the existing Promotion [...]

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • Hache

    ‘Hache’ Creator, Director Discuss Netflix’s Next Spanish Original, Dropping Nov. 1

    MADRID — On Nov 1 Netflix will drop its fifth Spanish original series, 1960’s-set drug smuggling drama “Hache,” produced by Madrid’s Weekend Studio for the platform. Created by Verónica Fernández and directed by Jorge Torregrossa (“La vida inesperada,” “Cocaine Coast,” “Velvet Collection”), “Hache” tells the story of Helena (Adriana Ugarte), a prostitute who ends up [...]

  • Argentina Film Lab

    Argentina to Build Country’s First Film Restoration Laboratory in Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuals (INCAA) and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires will partner to build Argentina’s first laboratory of film preservation. Minister of Culture Enrique Avogadro and INCAA president Ralph Haiek signed the agreement which will see Buenos Aires’ Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum in [...]

  • The-Ancient-Law

    Lumière Festival’s MIFC Broadens International Spotlight with Focus on Germany

    The 7th Lumière Film Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) is expanding its international scope this year with more foreign companies than ever before taking part in the event, high-profile guests and an examination of Germany’s heritage cinema sector. With 17 international firms from 25 countries at the event, the MIFC has reported a 20% [...]

  • US actor Donald Sutherland poses for

    Donald Sutherland Reflects in Lyon On A Life And Career Marked By Cinema

    In a loose and free-flowing on-stage interview held at the Lumière Festival this past Sunday, Donald Sutherland reflected on his decade-spanning career with a tone that mixed personal irreverence alongside genuine veneration for the art form that brought him this far. “I love filmmakers, I really do,” said the Canadian actor, who delighted the local [...]

  • Lucky Day

    Film Review: 'Lucky Day'

    It’s been 17 long years since “Rules of Attraction” director Roger Avary has released a film, during which time he was involved in a deadly car crash, charged with gross vehicle manslaughter, saw a work furlough translated into actual prison time, and watched things go south with Video Archives amigo Quentin Tarantino over the “Pulp [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content