ATTACK ON TITAN: Higuchi Shinji Takes Over The Live Action Adaptation

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
The Titans may be walking after all!

Isayama Hajime's Attack On Titan has proven to be one of the most successful manga / anime properties to emerge from Japan in some time, the story of a low-tech future earth where the survivors of humanity live in massive walled cities for protection from a race of flesh eating giants proving enormously popular both on the page and the screen around the globe. All of which led to immense anticipation for the announced live action version of the film which was originally set up with Confessions helmer Nakashima Tetsuya at the helm.

Great property, great director, can't go wrong, right? Except it did, and Nakashima left the project a year ago over disagreements with the direction being taken in the script, leaving the film rudderless but not abandoned since.

Enter Higuchi Shinji. A veteran special effects director - still best known in many circles as the man responsible for the creature in the 1990s trilogy of Gamera films - who made a big splash as director of 2006 hit The Sinking Of Japan and more recently directed the live action short film Giant God Warrior Attacks Tokyo for Anno Hideaki's tokusatsu themed museum exhibit. And, yes, now Higuchi is at the helm for Attack On Titan.

So once again we have a very good - although quite different - director at the helm of a very good property. Will it turn out differently this time? Here's hoping.
Around the Internet:
  • Gerardo Mendoza

    I sincerely hope that both the crew and studio get the casting and story right - Also, if rumors hold true and cast will be asian, I hope they manage to streamline things so as not to make this movie a cheap anime cash-in or a glorified asianification of an otherwise german-centric series. Sinking of Japan, Gatchaman, 20th Century Boys 1& 2 were not ground-breaking, but solid pieces of cinema, but I trust in Higuchi's artistic eye for destruction - He knows how to bring the noise. My only question is: Can he? This isn't some clandestine manga from yesteryear - this is THE manga right now, and the hottest property Japan's ever leaked since Dragonball Z. Higuchi has to know what he's getting himself into...At least I hope he knows how big the series has become, even without worldwide dubbing or distribution.

    I just hope he doesn't Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich this one.

  • Marc Walkow

    Japanese news has been buzzing with this announcement, so here's some additional info. Screenplay is going to be co-written by Yusuke Watanabe and Tomohiro Machiyama. Tomo Machiyama is a popular author and film critic / TV personality who's written many books and articles (in both English and Japanese) about pop culture, cult fandom, and so on. He divides his time between the US and Japan, and I believe this will be his first screenplay. Watanabe is a professional screenwriter, behind two of the 20TH CENTURY BOYS movies, both GANTZ live-action films, a bunch of DRAGONBALL Z anime, the GATCHAMAN live-action film, and most recently, Hideo Nakata's MONSTERZ, the Japanese remake of Korean flick HAUNTERS. Probably the biggest news for Twitch readers, though, hasn't been officially announced but he put it on his FB page in Japanese, so what the hell. TOKYO GORE POLICE director Yoshihiro Nishimura is the creature designer / supervisor of the special effects molding and makeup for this film, and has already been working closely with Higuchi on the design of the giants, among other things. They're shooting a TV commercial / promo video in Tokyo this week for the film, which will be the first footage of it made available to the press. The film itself doesn't shoot until next year. Fingers crossed that all the crazy talent and off-the-wall creators involved in the film see their vision fully put through to the screen without too much corporate interference. The pessimist in me is worried that this is a big-budget, valuable-property production for Toho, and much of what's going on now might get watered down. We'll see.

  • Brian Lonano

    Sweet! The anime is awesome and I'd love to see a live action adaptation just to see how creepy the Titans will be

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