Despite being filled with man-eating giants and heartless bureaucrats, people around the world can’t get enough of smash hit anime and manga "Attack on Titan." But while fans wait patiently for the rumored continuation of the animated TV series, production is moving ahead on the franchise’s live-action theatrical feature, which now has a filming location and an actor chosen to play Titan-hating protagonist Eren Yeager.
Tapped to play the leading role is singer-turned-actor Haruma Miura. Although the 23-year-old Miura is several years older than the teenaged Eren, the actor does have a proven track record in live-action versions of anime and manga, having previously appeared in adaptations such as high school gang story "Crows Zero II," high school yakuza story "Gokusen," high school romance "Kimi ni Todoke," and high school hacker thriller "Bloody Monday."
Thankfully, "Attack on Titan" fans probably don’t need to worry about Miura’s list of previous roles convincing producers to move the upcoming film’s setting from a walled city in a fantasy world to a posh boarding school in suburban Tokyo. The film lists Hajime Isayama, creator of "Attack on Titan" and the author of its original manga, as a supervisor for the project.
Producers have also decided on a filming location, with the crew headed to Hashima Island in Nagasaki Prefecture.
More commonly known as Gunkanjima, the island was originally the site of a coal mine and company town. When the mine was suddenly closed in the 1970s, families relocated to mainland Japan with such haste that the island’s dwellings became a ghost town almost instantaneously.
Gunkanjima has even been getting international attention these days. Aside from being used as the lair of the villain in the James Bond film "Skyfall," Gunkanjima has been at the top of was opened to the public in 2009, shooting to the top of desired destinations for many adventurers and urban ruin explorers (although if your schedule precludes taking a plane to Japan and a boat to the island, you can also tour it by Google Street View).
Producers say the live-action "Attack on Titan" is on track for a 2015 release, consistent with comments made when director Shinji Higuchi’s involvement was announced. Shooting is scheduled to start on Gunkanjima early this summer, and while we know it’s just a movie, we’ll still sleep better knowing there’s an ocean between us and the Titans.
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