'Saint Seiya' to get live-action adaption

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 19, 2017
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Childhood memories of a generation of Chinese and Japanese people will surely flood back with the news that the popular Japanese manga "Saint Seiya" is getting the live-action movie treatment with investment of Japan's Toei Animation and Hong Kong-based A Really Good Film Company.

The iconic characters from "Saint Seiya" franchise. [File photo] 

The two companies will co-produce an English-language, live-action film version of the highly popular Toei anime classic. The film is tentatively entitled "Saint Seiya: Knights of The Zodiac."

Based on Masami Kurumada's best-selling manga, "Saint Seiya" is one of the world's biggest animated franchises, with total revenue of more than US$1.1 billion since 1986. Toei Animation has produced over 250 TV episodes and six features that have been released in over 80 countries. A total of 35 million copies of the original manga by Masami Kurumada have been sold so far.

A Really Good Film Company has joined Toei Animation as its development and China co-production partner for the live-action version and will be handling Chinese distribution. A Really Good Film Company is an investment, production and acquisition vehicle under Just Creative Studio, the newly-formed joint venture between the Bona Film Group and Nansun Shi's N&J Enterprises.

Yoshi Ikezawa and Joseph Chou of Toei Animation will serve as co-producers, along with ARGF founder Jeffrey Chan, who is also COO of Bona Film Group. Tim Kwok of Convergence Entertainment, Miguel Faura and Kozo Morishita of Toei Animation will serve as executive producers with Kurumada.

"This is for our loyal fanbase who have supported Seiya for the last 30 years as well as the new generation of fans," Kurumada said.

The story of Saint Seiya follows a group of mystical warriors, the Saints, who are sworn protectors of the reincarnated Greek goddess Athena as she battles other Olympian gods to save humankind. Each of the Saints wears a powerful sacred armor based on their chosen zodiac constellation.

"We are very excited to be partnering with ARGF to bring this title to a worldwide audience as a live-action feature film," said Kozo Morishita, Toei Animation's chairman, "We hope it will be the first of many more to come from Toei's large IP stable.”

Chan added, "After almost two years of development of the project with my fellow producers, it still feels surreal to me to be able to work on such a fantastic animation franchise of which I'm a big fan myself."

China imported the animated series of the manga in 1992 and since then "Saint Seiya" has enjoyed a huge mainland fan base. The 2014 Japanese CG animated film of "Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary" was imported and released in China in 2016, which was two years later than in Japan, and grossed 37.87 million yuan (US$5.49 million).

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