Tetsuo Franchise Continues With ‘Tetsuo Project’, First Photos!

Japanese production company Kaiju Theater, along with its production and distribution partner Asmik Ace Entertainment, today announced the launch of a new film, tentatively called Tetsuo Project, directed by Japan’s sci-fi master Shinya Tsukamoto, to be delivered later this year. Asmik Ace will introduce the project to the industry in Cannes. 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Tetsuo franchise.
TETSUO THE IRON MAN, the first of the franchise, was produced and released in 1989. It was awarded Grand Prix at Fantafestival in Rome, Italy that year, and invited to 22 international film festivals worldwide, including Toronto, Montreal, Sundance, Seattle, Sao Paulo, and Thessaloniki. The film was also released in 12 territories including US and UK, and has established a cult status. Tsukamoto directed the second of the franchise, TETSUO II: BODY HAMMER, in 1992, which won awards at Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film, Fantasporto in Porto, Portugal, and Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia, among others. It was also an official selection at 27 international film festivals and released in 15 territories.

After the international success of the 2 films of the franchise, Tsukamoto was offered by Quentin Tarantino to write a new version of TETSUO set in the United States, to be produced by Tarantino. The project, then called TETSUO AMERICA, was never produced due to Tsukamoto’s creative uncertainty of whether his concept and character of the franchise would be set and work in the vast continent of America.

Recently Tsukamoto revisited the plot he had wrote for Tarantino, and decided to write the script based on it, but this time set in Tokyo. With Shinichi Kawahara of Kaiju Theater and Masayuki Tanishima of Asmik Ace producing, Tsukamoto directs the new installment of the TETSUO franchise form this script. The principal photography, which took 1 year, has been wrapped, and the project is now in post production. The delivery is expected to be in the summer. It is shot in English, and is written, shot, lighted, art-directed, edited and directed by Tsukamoto, who also acts in the film opposite Eric Bossick who plays the title role.

On making the announcement, Tanishima commented: “I am extremely thrilled to bring this new cyber-punk project from Tokyo to the global audience. I call this project a `solid metal psychic battle action thriller.’ This is a totally new TETSUO for the 21st century.”

SYNOPSIS: The life of an ordinary American businessman living in Tokyo with his Japanese wife and a three-year-old son, changes forever after a sudden tragedy. His extreme anger turns his body metallic to fight at a ultrafast speed against a mysterious evil in the dynamically-changing city of Tokyo.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Born on January 1st, 1960, Tsukamoto established his own production company “Kaiju Theater” in 1985. TETSUO THE IRON MAN (1989) his first commercial film, was a sensation among both the international critics and the sci-fi film fans, and he immediately became one of the most influential filmmakers from Japan. After he made another global success with TESUO II BODY HUMMER (1992), he directed TOKYO FIST (1995), BULLET BALLET (1998), and GEMINI (1999), each of which were widely acclaimed at international film festivals and distributed worldwide. In 2003, A SNAKE OF JUNE premiered at Venice International Film Festival, and won him the San Marco Special Jury Award. His recent hits include the NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE franchise (2007 and 2008). He was a member of the jury at the Venice International Film Festival in 1997

ASMIK ACE ENTERTAINMENT INC. was established in 1985. Since the big successes of the production of the original RINGU, Asmik Ace has been a leading independent Japanese production/distribution company and has been entertaining audiences throughout the world. Its recent domestic theatrical line up has included BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE produced by Bill Kong, TRANSPORTER 3, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, and MR. NOBODY. It is also producing a big budget domestic project NORWEGIAN WOOD directed by Tran Anh Hung, and is bringing AIR DOLL directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu to Cannes for Un Certain Regard. Its production include THE HANSOME SUIT, GENTLE BREEZE IN THE VILLAGE, SAKURAN and HONEY AND CLOVER.