Press Release

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has announced that its Los Angeles-based film development division, VIZ Productions, is developing the haunting short story, “The Street of Fruiting Bodies,” by famed Japanese author Sayuri Ueda into a feature film, and has retained Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm to write the adaptation.

“The Street of Fruiting Bodies” depicts the sudden spread of a mysterious and lethal species of hallucinogenic mushroom. The infestation is deadly, but it also offers visions of deceased loved ones to the infected, hinting at the reality of an afterlife, or at least a new kind of existence that is beyond human comprehension. Ueda’s story appeared in the anthology, PHANTASM JAPAN, which collected works by several bestselling authors from both the United States and Japan and was published in English in 2014 by VIZ Media’s Haikasoru literary imprint. More information on the book is available at: http://www.haikasoru.com/phantasm-japan.

PhantasmJapan_coverJason Hoffs, Head of Production at VIZ Productions, says the story is well suited for feature film adaptation. “Sayuri Ueda turns the ‘killer virus’ concept on its head with an agent that strikes at our emotions rather than our bodies. We hope to marry the pace of a riveting popcorn movie with a compelling meditation on life-after-death, love and memory, and God.”

Screenwriter Sam Hamm is best known for his script for the 1989 Tim Burton film, Batman, and also adapted short fiction for Showtime’s Masters of Horror series. He says of the new project, “Ueda creates a world in which the most profound human emotions – love, grief, longing, and hope – can lead to one’s salvation or one’s undoing, and the true horror is that it may be impossible to tell the difference. ‘The Street of Fruiting Bodies’ is not only disturbing, it is moving.”

VIZ Productions coordinates the licensing of Japanese entertainment media (manga, books and film) to North American-based film studios. The company’s most recent project was 2014’s sci-fi action feature, Edge of Tomorrow, which was co-produced by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures and starred Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton. The film was based on the novel, ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and available in English from VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint. VIZ Productions is also currently developing a feature film adaptation of the hit manga property DEATH NOTE.

For more information on anime, manga and film titles published and distributed by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

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