GANTZ Creator: No New Anime Until Hollywood Gives Him Back Series Rights

GANTZ creator Hiroya Oku seems to regret making a deal with a Hollywood studio for the rights to the series.

In a new interview with Crunchyroll, Oku candidly spoke about the long-rumored American GANTZ live-action remake. In the interview, Oku stated that a contract with a Hollywood production company is preventing future anime adaptations of his work, saying, "Yeah, I can’t talk about all the details on that subject, but a Hollywood company does have the rights to adapt GANTZ at the moment, and unless they return us the rights, we won't be able to make either an anime or live-action adaptation of the manga. That's the Hollywood type of contract; they own all the adaptations including anime and live-action, except for manga." Oku stated outright that this is why the GANTZ:E spinoff manga hasn't seen an anime adaptation, and he expressed his frustration with the situation, saying "There is another spinoff called GANTZ:E that is currently being serialized in Young Jump (illustrated by Jin Kagetsu) right now, which has been allowed to be made by the producers [as it's a manga], though an anime adaptation of that spinoff won't be. It's becoming such a pain, to be honest."

Oku revealed that the contract, which was signed in 2020, will likely hold up future GANTZ projects for at least the next four years. "I haven't been updated about how the Hollywood adaptation is going or whether it will actually be made. It's likely COVID-19 has paused a lot of new projects over there, and GANTZ is probably one of them," Oku said, defiantly adding "If that’s the case, I’d like to have the rights back."

While an announcement regarding an American live-action remake of GANTZ has never officially been announced and Oku doesn't name the Hollywood company he's unhappy with, earlier rumors reported that the movie was being produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow writer and producer Marc Guggenheim previously hinted on Twitter that he was involved with the project.

GANTZ tells the story of two high school students who seemingly die in a subway accident and wake up in the middle of an empty apartment. The two young men are told that their lives have ended, and they now have to participate in a hunt for alien beings, who are living in secret on the Earth. They are given technologically advanced equipment that gives them superhuman abilities, and are promised a possible return to their previous lives if they hunt down enough aliens. The series has received widespread critical acclaim for its unpredictable narrative, character development and its brutal action.

The original manga series began serialization in 2000 and ran until 2013, and was also adapted into an anime series in 2004 by studio Gonzo (Last Exile) and director Ichiro Itano, who previously worked on both the Macross and Mobile Suit Gundam franchises. The series was also adapted into two Japanese live-action films, which were both released in 2011.

The rest of Oku's interview, in which he also discusses his production methods and his reaction to anime's popularity overseas, can be read here.

Source: Crunchyroll

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