Website: ‘Noir’ live-action rendition maybe in the cards

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Work is under way to create a live-action series based on “Noir,” an anime TV series that was first broadcast in 2001, for U.S. subscription channel operator Liberty Starz, reported.

According to the U.S. entertainment news website, “Sleep With Me” screenwriter Steve Lightfoot has written a script for the project. It will be produced by “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi and Starz producer Robert Tapert.

Tapert has produced genre movies including Raimi’s “The Evil Dead,” and is responsible for Starz’s successful “Spartacus” TV drama series.

Details, such as the number of episodes in the “Noir” series as well as when it will be broadcast, are yet to be revealed.

With the live-action version being produced by film industry bigwigs, “Noir” is certain to grab the attention of U.S. audiences.

The original 26-episode animated series was first broadcast in 2001. Koichi Mashimo took the helm of the production, which was produced by Bee Train Production Inc.

Set in the near future, the action-packed story begins when Kirika Yumura, a girl who has lost her memory, teams up with Mireille Bouquet, a professional assassin working in the underworld of Europe. They call themselves “Noir.”

Kirika, a highly skilled killer, and solitary assassin Mireille set out on a quest to find answers to their pasts as they fight their way through Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Starz is a leading subscription television channel under the umbrella of U.S. media conglomerate Liberty Media Corp., boasting at least 18.8 million subscribers.

The channel has gained popularity by speedily providing much-talked-about films and producing high-quality drama series. Rated on par with major U.S. cable television channel provider HBO, Starz is a well-known channel dedicated to movies and TV dramas, and “Noir” is certain to attract a large number of viewers in North America.

It may seem unusual to see a Japanese anime with a loyal fan base from 10 years ago being adapted into a drama series by a leading U.S. media company. However, feature films based on major Japanese anime and manga titles have been produced in recent years, with “Dragonball Evolution” and “Astro Boy” being prime examples.

In the United States, many filmmakers and the general public are fascinated with Japanese anime and manga, and there are a number projects lined up for future live-action adaptations of original Japanese works. They include “Avatar” and “Titanic” director James Cameron’s adaptation of “Battle Angel Alita” and a Hollywood version of “Ninja Scroll,” whose film rights are held by Leonard DiCaprio.

Liberty Starz is no stranger to Japanese anime. It also operates Manga Entertainment, a company that, despite its name, focuses on producing and distributing Japanese anime.

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.