A lot of media attention is currently questioning whether we, as movie audiences, are being overwhelmed and oversaturated with the current abundance of comic book movies and TV shows, which is unsurprising considering that Marvel Studios cinematic universe is soon to enter its third and biggest phase with a dozen movies already behind them and over a dozen more planned over the next five years, not to mention DC and Warner Bros are soon to inundate us with their planned DC cinematic universe. Genre trends come and go in the movie industry same as they do in all the other entertainment industries, and while we are all waist deep in spandex wearing do-gooders and operatic, classically trained uber-mega-ultra-villains, the reimagining of an old form of cinema is slowly and surely taking over Hollywood.
Take Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's underrated 2013 science fiction epic Pacific Rim, featuring alternate dimension hopping, skyscraper tall behemoths trading punches and other bone crunching blows with equally massive walking robotic gladiators. While the movie may not have performed as well as producers Legendary Pictures would have hoped, there is no denying that Pacific Rim paved the way for Legendary Pictures monster hit of last year, Godzilla, itself based upon the Japanese franchise heralded by the Toho Company.
Then take action superstar Tom Cruise's first foray of last year back into the science fiction movie alongside Emily Blunt and science fiction royalty Bill Paxton in Doug Limans Edge of Tomorrow. While many fans enjoyed the relentless action and convulted time loop shenanigans, fact hungry fans will know that the movie was in fact an adaptation of the graphic novel All You Need Is Kill, written by Japanese light novelist Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
Add to all of this news that Robert Rodriguez is to direct a live action adaptation of the popular Manga epic Alita: Battle Angel, with other news that Warner Bros and Christopher Nolan are developing a live action adaptation of another Manga epic called Akira, and then the most recent news that screenwriter Jonathan Herman has been attached to rewrite the screenplay for another Manga live action adaptation called Ghost in the Shell, which is being developed by Dreamworks and is set to star Scarlett Johansson. Ghost in the Shell is scheduled to begin production this winter (December/January) with a March 31st 2017 release date.
It is becoming clear that Hollywood is turning to Japan for its next wave of genre movies, and with the standards of modern visual effects, a new generation of highly skilled directors and a wide selection of talented actors of all ages and creeds what better time to realize on the big screen the highly imaginative, immensely creative and surprisingly profound franchises that have been relished by Japanese audiences for decades.
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