With the notable exception of Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, pretty much everybody in the world seems to love "Attack on Titan." Although the series got started with a manga serial in 2009, its adaptation into an animated TV series in 2013 rocketed the title to popularity.
There’s been talk of a live-action theatrical version of "Attack on Titan" for some time, and the project now has a new director, writers, and best of all, a release date.
The first word of a live-action "Attack on Titan" came in December of 2011. Originally, Tetsuya Nakashima, director of the Academy Award-nominated revenge tale "Confessions," was attached to the film. This was before "Attack on Titan’s" anime premiere and subsequent surge in popularity, however, and the announcement of the movie itself was, until now, the only notable news regarding the project.
Almost two years later, distributor Toho has finally given a long-awaited update on the film’s status. Instead of Nakashima, Shinji Higuchi will be occupying the director’s chair. Higuchi directed the much-lauded historical-drama "The Floating Castle," and has an extensive background in special effects, having lent his talents to films in both the Godzilla and Gamera franchises.
Higuchi is also no stranger to animation, being one of the original members of the group that would go on to become anime studio Gainax, and having worked on the production house’s "Wings of Honneamise" and "Evangelion," as well as the currently airing "Kill la Kill" TV series.
A pair of writers will be handling the live-action "Attack on Titan’s" script, with the first being movie critic Tomohiro Machiyama, who attended film school in the U.S. and is a friend of "Attack on Titan" creator Hajime Isayama. Machiyama will collaborate with Yusuke Watanabe, who previously served as scriptwriter for two live-action anime adaptations, the 2011 sci-fi theatrical release "Gantz: Perfect Answer," and before that a 2009 TV series about all things wine-related, "The Drops of God."
Casting is currently underway. Filming is set to begin early next summer, and Toho says the film should be in theaters sometime in 2015. That’s still a while off, but if "Attack on Titan" continues to be the pop culture darling it has become, opening day is sure to be packed.
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