SciFi Japan

    GANTZ Press Notes

    English Language Press Notes for Highly Anticipated Manga Adaptation Source: VIZ Pictures, NTV Official Movie Site: gantz-movie.com (Japan), gantzmovies.com (US) Special Thanks to Rieko Fuji

    GANTZ (??) 2011 / approx 130 min (each) / Color / Screen Size 1:1.85 Japan Theatrical Release: Part 1- January 29th, 2011, Part 2- April 23rd, 2011 The long-awaited adaptation of the suspense action manga GANTZ is finally here! Based on the popular Japanese manga and anime series, GANTZ is the ultimate survival game. Summoned by the mysterious black orb known as “GANTZ”, childhood friends Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato are forced into participating in the extermination of ‘aliens’ in order to survive. While Kurono chooses to fight for survival, Kato refuses to engage in battle and rejects a world controlled by violence. Kurono and Kato, along with the others sharing their fate, are pushed to their limits in the relentless battles against the aliens. The GANTZ saga debuted in the July 2000 issue of Weekly Young Jump (published by Shueisha Inc.) introducing a unique storyline of people being spared from death only to be summoned by an entity known as GANTZ to battle aliens. The Young Jump Comics’ ongoing 29 volume sci-fi action epic has become a smash hit bestseller with sales exceeding 15 million copies. The manga is also published in 12 territories, including Asia, European countries, and the U.S. Due to its intense action and strikingly original story, a movie adaptation was once considered impossible. However, after NTV led the adaptations of DEATH NOTE and 20TH CENTURY BOYS to success, a movie adaptation of GANTZ became possible with director Shinsuke Sato. The highly-awaited movie project has two parts; the first installment coming in January 2011, and the second in spring 2011. The film stars two of the most popular actors in Japan today; Kazunari Ninomiya, who has received international acclaim for his performance in Clint Eastwood’s LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (2006), and Kenichi Matsuyama, who has won numerous awards and praises for his portrayals of unique characters in films such as DEATH NOTE (2006), DETROIT METAL CITY (2008), and NORWEGIAN WOOD (the 2010 film adaptation of the popular Haruki Murakami novel). Both actors have captured audiences with their distinctive style and presence and the powerful performances they give in this extreme action film is no exception. GANTZ makes its U.S. premiere in 333 movie theaters in an exclusive one-night-only event presented by NCM Fathom, Dark Horse Comics, and NEW PEOPLE on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 8:30 p.m. PT (tape delayed). Tickets (for all locations except Hollywood, CA) are available at participating theater box offices and online at FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit EventTheatresReport_gantz (theaters and participants are subject to change). The movie will open in wide release in Japan on January 29th. GANTZ PART 2 is scheduled to open in Japanese theaters April 23rd, 2011. The US release date is tba.

    Story

    College student Kei Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya) witnesses his childhood friend Masaru Kato (Kenichi Matsuyama) attempting to help a drunk who has fallen onto the subway train tracks and jumps in to help him. However, both are run down by the oncoming train. In the next instant, they are transported to a strange room in an apartment where there are others who should be dead as well. In the center of the living room is an enigmatic black orb known as GANTZ. GANTZ forces each of them to take part in a mission to hunt down and kill aliens, providing them with equipment and weaponry. Is this world, which tests their will to survive, a game or reality? Kato is anguished after seeing people and aliens slaughtering each other, but Kurono gradually feels increasingly satisfied as he discovers his fighting ability… With ‘life and death’ as the theme, this is a new type of suspense action entertainment!!

    Cast and Staff

    Kazunari Ninomiya as Kei Kurono: Ninomiya is a Japanese singer and actor. He is a member of Japanese boy band “Arashi” who topped Japan’s music charts in 2009 with the three best-selling singles of the year. Ninomiya has won numerous awards for TV dramas and films and is well known for his role in Clint Eastwood’s LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA.

    Kenichi Matsuyama as Masaru Kato: Matsuyama has been one of the most sought after actors in Japanese film and has won several awarding including the Japanese Academy Awards for Best New Actor (2007) and Most Popular Actor (2009). Matsuyama is most recognized for his part as L in DEATH NOTE, DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME (2006) and DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd (2008) and also for his portrayal of Johannes Krauser II in the outlandish rock and roll comedy DETROIT METAL CITY. Yuriko Yoshitaka as Tae Kojima Kanata Hongo as Joichiro Nishi Natsuna Watanabe as Kei Kishimoto Go Ayano Nako Mizusawa Kensuke Chisaka as Ayumu Kato Shunya Shiraishi as Hiroto Sakurai Ayumi Ito Tomorowo Taguchi as Yoshikazu Suzuki Takayuki Yamada Original Story by Hiroya Oku (Shueisha Inc. / Weekly Young Jump) Written by Yusuke Watanabe Music by Kenji Kawai Planned and Produced by Takahiro Salut Directed by Shinsuke Sato

    Production Executive: Hiroshi Miyazaki Production: Shosaku Ohyama Executive Producer: Seiji Okuda Senior Producer: Naoki Suganuma Producers: Tadashi Tanaka, Nobuhiro Iizuka Cinematography: Taro Kawazu Production Design: Yasuaki Harada Sound Recording: Kazushiko Yokono Editing: Tsuyoshi Imai Props: Ichiro Takahata Physical Effects: Kazuaki Sekiyama Action: Yuji Shimomura Special Effects: Makoto Kamiya CG Producer: Yusaku Toyoshima Producer of Special Modeling: Masahiro Arikawa Stylist: Masae Miyamoto Hair Make-up: Mariko Honda Scripter: Ryoko Taguchi Planning & Production: NTV Production Company: Nikkatsu Studio

    About VIZ Pictures, Inc.

    Based in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese "kawaii (cute) and cool" pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each release from a J-pop fan`s point of view to serve manga and anime generation in North America . VIZ Pictures titles include DEATH NOTE, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, LINDA LINDA LINDA, PING PONG, THE TASTE OF TEA, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO and others. The company will continue to offer the hottest visual entertainment straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages in North America . VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese mangaand merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular NARUTO animated TV series. For more information please visit VIZ Pictures or www.viz.com.


    For more information on GANTZ please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:


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