The popular manga, which follows a ruthless Japanese professional wrestler named Naoto Date who after triumphing in the US returns to his country and fights the forces of evil, previously inspired an anime television series made by Japan’s Toei Animation.
“Tiger Mask” is a much-loved figure in both Japan and Italy, where he has been [considered] a strong, cool and timeless hero since the series’ first release in 1969,” Yohei Takami, head of Kodansha’s commercial media rights division, said in a statement.
“We are excited to be able to bring a new ‘Tiger Mask’ to global audiences, partnering with respected Italian filmmakers who share with us the love and passion for ‘Tiger Mask’, such as Fabula Pictures and Brandon Box,” he added.
The project marks a first foray into the manga genre space for Fabula, the prominent Rome-based company run by Nicola and Marco de Angelis and controlled by Pascal Breton’s Paris-based Federation Entertainment. Fabula is known for producing the Netflix original series “Baby”; the biographical film “Il Divin Codino” about Italian soccer superstar Roberto Baggio, also for Netflix; and most recently, the mystery thriller “Time After Time” for Sky Italia and the teen fantasy “We Are Legend” for RAI and Amazon.
“We are proud to announce this ambitious project that confirms our passion for the search for universal stories capable of moving and involving national and international audiences,” said Marco and Nicola De Angelis. “This partnership with Brandon Box and Kodansha represents an important step in the strategic positioning of our company within the [global] audiovisual production scene”.
Brandon Box is a Milan-based production company specializing in comic-based content, best known for the 2022 live-action film adaptation of the cult Italian comic franchise “Dampyr,” which was distributed internationally by Sony.
“We are convinced that the modern adaptation we are working on with two incredible partners like Fabula Pictures and Kodasha will take us on an extraordinary journey,” said Andrea Sgaravatti, CEO of Brandon Box. He added that the film, “with a strong international scope, will be set between Italy and Japan and, in keeping with the tradition of the property, will see a new protagonist don the tiger mask.”
The director and cast details of the live-action movie “Tiger Mask” are still being kept under wraps.
Written by the late great manga master Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji, the original manga “Tiger Mask” was published in Japan between 1968 and 1971 by the publisher Kodansha in Bokura magazine (1968-1969) and Weekly Shonen magazine ( 1970-1971). ). The manga “The Tiger Mask” is published in Italy by Panini Comics. Both the print comic series and the Toei Animation anime series gained widespread popularity in Italy, where the series first aired in 1984.
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