It’s true. Original film ideas in Hollywood are as numerous as good sequels, and remakes/reboots/reshuffles are everywhere you look. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to take awesomely original ideas and try to make it our own. Transferring a foreign film idea into an American translation, if done correctly, can make a great story more accessible to a larger audience. Also, any future remakes that don’t borrow from Sweden are welcome in my book. This brings us to the Hitoshi Matsumoto’s crazy ass 2007 feature Dai Nippon Jin (Big Man Japan), which is set to have the Hollywood treatment. Matsumoto, who not only directed the film but was its star as well, is an experienced TV comedian in Japan. This makes a lot of sense, being that the film focuses on a giant half-naked man who electrocutes himself to grow stronger and carries around an oversized baton as an instrument of whoop ass. Oh, there’s also a scene where he squares off against a monster with a killer comb-over. Yeah, it’s awesomely weird, and I can’t wait to see what will become of it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Colombia Pictures snagged the rights to the film and Prison Break’s Neil H. Moritz is on board to produce.
Hit the jump to check out one of the strangest, most hilarious scenes of the film. [We’ve updated the article with the press release, which you can also check out after the jump.]
Here’s the press release:
COLUMBIA PICTURES OPTIONS
TO JAPANESE HIT FILM “BIG MAN JAPAN”
CULVER CITY, Calif., June 3, 2011 – Columbia Pictures has optioned remake and sequel rights to Big Man Japan, which will be developed and produced into a new feature film by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner, it was announced today by Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures. Big Man Japan was a breakthrough hit in Japan in 2007 and a cult hit in the United States in 2009. Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi will write the new adaptation.
Set in a world where monsters wreak havoc, there’s one man who can protect the citizenry: Big Man Japan, who runs the Department of Monster Prevention. Using electricity, he can grow to be 10 stories tall and fight off the most menacing of monsters. The problem is that he’s not very good at his job and often causes as much damage as he prevents. The people believe he’s a joke – and not nearly as good at the job as his father and grandfather were before he took over the family business.
The option for all non Japanese language rights to the film were secured through Yoshimoto Kogyo Co, Ltd, and their affiliate Yoshimoto Creative Agency, Ltd, producers of the original film that was directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto.
Toby Jaffe will oversee development for Original.
NEAL H. MORITZ is the founder of Original Film. His most recent releases include Fast Five, which has taken in more than $540 million worldwide to date, making it the most successful film in the franchise, and Battle: Los Angeles, which has grossed more than $200 million worldwide so far. His next film is Universal Pictures’ comedy The Change Up. He is currently in production on 21 Jump Street and Total Recall, and he is in pre-production on Warner Bros.’ Jack the Giant Killer. His past titles include The Green Hornet, The Fast and Furious series, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Made of Honor, Gridiron Gang, Bounty Hunter, Evan Almighty, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Out of Time, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice.
PHIL HAY & MATT MANFREDI most recently wrote the screenplay for the box office hit Clash of the Titans; they previously wrote the screenplay for the 2005 sci-fi thriller Aeon Flux. The writing partners made their screenwriting debut in 2001 with the critically acclaimed drama Crazy/Beautiful. Manfredi also wrote and co-directed with Hay the independent feature Bug, starring John Carroll Lynch, which garnered multiple film festival awards in 2002. Upcoming projects for Hay and Manfredi include the comic book adaptations R.I.P.D. and The Boys, both for producer Neal H. Moritz.