By Jonah Morgan
Kabushiki-gaisha Madhouse was one of the studios at the The Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 that really let it all hangout, putting alot of new project data on the record in a big way at their booth which featured a walk through gallery of many giant sized posters suspended from the ceiling. One of them (seen left – click here for high-res enlargement) mysteriously alluded to 2 live action films based on Madhouse animation “features” being produced in world movie capital Hollywood, California, USA right now. The first project was said to be currently underway, and another “is listed for a possible remake”. According to the text of the poster, there’s still a long way to go before any of the details can be made public. Their statements “as far as we know” and “if the projects come true” lead me to believe that the studio is maybe not so close to the action in tensiletown, however. We tried our damndest but couldn’t get Madhouse representatives to stray too far afield from the text of the poster.
We simply don’t know if these are projects already known in the realms of outed facts, rumor and speculation which we so love or if they may be entirely new quantities. Right off the top of my head though, I’m willing to hazard a guess that the first project “now underway” is almost certainly Threshold Entertainment’s Ninja Scroll (which we were the first in the English speaking world to break news on way back on March 13th, 2002). The second one is a bit more elusive, but just to throw something out there to think about, on August 17th, 2006 ANS reported Hollywood was looking at remaking the live action Death Note (Madhouse produced the Anime TV series). Additionally, on November 6th, 2006 we mentioned Capcom was remaking their Street Fighter II video games into an American film with a slated 2008 USA theatrical premiere (Madhouse produced the “V” TV series). On February 1st we also relayed Hollywood could remake NANA (Madhouse produced the TV series there). In 2005, New Line Cinema announced they had acquired the film rights to Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (Madhouse produced the TV series there as well). Lastly, Daniel Zelter reminds us Vampire Hunter D author Hideyuki Kikuchi has recently written that his work will be adapted in Hollywood. Though, as real as these projects are, and as real as the possibility may be that the anime could be used as source / research material in their production, my gut instinct tells me none of these really qualify. The most likely candidate in terms of worldwide publicity in my mind remains James Cameron’s planned remake of Madhouse’s 1993 OVA Battle Angel (Gunnm). It could also be something entirely unknown. Regardless, it should not be ignored that this studio shares an intimate relationship with many high profile properties which are moving forward in the film houses of Hollywood at this very second. As they are well positioned, the trend is likely to continue into the future.