Ozaki Talks About Live-Action And Musical Adaptations

As you may know, ASCII published an interview with executive producer Ozaki Masayuki a couple of days ago. In the interview he talked about how Tiger & Bunny was born, and also about what future plans for the franchise would interest him – such as live-action and musical. It seems he may have said too much (and it’s not the first time – though who can blame him for being enthusiastic?) because he further clarified his thoughts on a live-action adaptation in length on Twitter. You can read a full translation of his tweets at Crunchyroll.

“These are my personal feelings as the producer. However, at this time nobody less than a Hollywood mainstay production studio could realize the vision I have. If we don’t secure complete agreement on staff, cast, production scale, supervisory rights, etc then I don’t intend to give permission.”
– Ozaki Masayuki

The feeling I got from his tweets is that he and the other creators are very protective of Tiger & Bunny – which is a really good thing for the future of the series. Although he has ruled out a Hollywood live-action for now, a musical seems like a possibility. The Code Geass stage musical is currently in production, and I could imagine that if it does well it would be a good sign also for a Tiger & Bunny musical. As a fun fact, director Satou mentioned in an interview around September that he’d be interested in trying a musical in the future. He didn’t specify it further and I took it just as a joke but maybe he wasn’t trolling after all…

Personally I think that Tiger & Bunny would fit a live-action movie better than musical. I’m not into musicals in general, and us foreign fans would have no chance of seeing a musical until the eventual BD release. A live-action movie – if done right – could turn out very good, but anime/manga based live-action movies have a pretty uneven success rate. The Japanese versions tend to be better than the few Hollywood versions that have been made. Tiger & Bunny has taken a lot of inspiration from the American superhero comics and movies so a live-action adaptation feels fitting – although I may be pretty alone with my opinion.

Whether or not you like the idea of a live-action Tiger & Bunny, Ozaki has no plans for that at the moment and he is currently concentrating on the already announced movie projects. That hasn’t stopped the Japanese fans from making speculations about a dream cast for a Hollywood live-action adaptation:

23 comments on “Ozaki Talks About Live-Action And Musical Adaptations

  1. Very interesting casting suggestions. But I only have one guy in mind to play Fire Emblem…WESLEY SNIPES!! XD I can’t get “To Wong Foo” out of my head.

  2. If they ever do decide to make a Hollywood live-action Tiger & Bunny I would be very sceptical about whether it would be any good. Don’t get me wrong, I think it has the potential to make a great live-action movie. I’ve just seen a lot of bad Hollywood adaptations and I would rather there be no movie then a bad one. I was glad to read that Ozaki doesn’t intend to easily give permission to go ahead with a live-action.

    I actually think a musical could be pretty entertaining. I’d love it if they made one similar to the Hunter x Hunter musical where the seiyuu each performed their own character’s role.

    Also, that picture of Antonio Banderas looks so much like Antonio! I’m beginning to wonder if he was designed after him…

    • I was thinking that too! How did no one notice before? We picked up on others like Karina’s manager after all, looking like Robert Downey Jr, and a friend said there was a guy who looked like Stephen Spielburg[?].

      I approve of it, and I think I would definitely find him much more attractive if Antonio Banderas played him………

  3. If this did get Hollywood treatment… I just hope they don’t screw it up, but from the interview, it sounds like they won’t allow that to happen since they will keep lead in the production.

  4. I cracked up laughing when I saw Ashton Kutcher next to Keith! Haven’t thought of him playing as Keith, but it fits somehow no matter how much it made me laugh. Also, I totally agree on Chris Tucker playing Fire Emblem. He’s a good actor/comedian so he’s perfect for the part.

    Thanks for posting the casting suggestions!

  5. Glad I’m not the only that’s kind of interested in a live-action movie! BUT that’s with the assumption that it would be made/treated with the care and respect it deserves, so it’s very nice to see the creators are very protective of their series. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if there is no live movie, hell I’m just happy to see more CDs, movies, ect. 🙂

    • Ozaki was talking about possibly making a 2nd character song album in the future, so more CDs might happen.

      I’m still yearning for S2 more than anything right now.

  6. I’m already excited about the movies and to think about a live-action! that would be so interesting. but for some reasong I don’t see that coming at least in a near future (? and I like how he is so protective about T&B…

  7. i’m with everyone being a little leary of the Hollywood treatment bc we know how it could potentially kill the series. but i’m glad to see the producers are protective of their show. that can only mean good things.

    just a few swaps i would consider:

    Kotetsu – Daniel Henney
    Keith – John Barrowman (why not?)
    Nathan – RuPaul (but can’t we?)

    • I’m leery about not casting an Asian actress for Paolin, she’s supposed to be Chinese although she doesn’t really look like it in the anime.

      Edit: I don’t think I could unsee Captain Jack Harkness if John Barrowman were to play Keith. Oh boy…

      • If Emma Wong wasn’t almost thirty, I would SO cast her as Pao-Lin.

        Then again, she certainly doesn’t *look* twenty seven, so maybe I still would.

        (On the subject of Keith, that one image floating around means I can’t unsee Tom Cruise as him. Oy vey.)

  8. Is the actress suggestion for Karina a bit old? She’s a seventeen year old girl, she shouldn’t have neck-wrinkles.

    Also, can someone tell me who are the ones that this fan suggested for Nathan, Kaede, Ivan and Barnaby? I don’t recognize them.

    • Nathan: Jaye Davidson
      Barnaby: Patrick Schwarzenegger
      Kaede: Riko Yoshida
      Ivan: David Viersen

      I had to look up Ivan and Kaede’s suggestions, I didn’t recognise them immediately either.

  9. Two words: “Dragonball: Evolution”
    (‘Nuff said about Anime-turned-Live action right there.)

    I’m more interested in information on the first of the release date of the first Tiger & Bunny movie . . .

    • That may be true, but you have to also remember the creator had nothing directly to do with it. That’s why TaiBani would be better since the owns over the anime say they would be working directly with the live’s staff.

    • I absolutely abhor when people use “Dragonball: Evolution” as an example for why a live action Hollywood adaptation of an anime series would be a failure. “Dragonball: Evolution” was a failure because it was a horrible choice of an anime to bring over to be adapted to a mainstream Western audience. The anime is extremely Asian, with the plot deriving from the ancient tale of “Monkey/Journey to the West,” the fighting scenes are also rather Asian in nature, and so on and so forth, so trying to bring it over to the West meant having to change a lot (though some of the changes they made were definitely silly, but I’ll get back to that in a minute).

      Tiger and Bunny wouldn’t have this issue of needing to change things up a lot in order to appeal to a mainstream Western audience, because the series itself was already meant to have a Western appeal to it, and it deals with superheroes, which is currently insanely popular in Western countries (especially in America). There would be no need to Westernize the themes, concepts, and plot of the series, since that has already been done, and (outside of Kotetsu, his family, and Pao-lin) white washing won’t be a huge issue like with other anime to Hollywood live action adaptations. The only thing that I can see really getting “changed” is the title of the movie, since that would be rather hard to advertise properly to a Western audience (many people were originally turned off by the name, or thought it was going to be a little kids anime, rather than a superhero one).

      Of course, if the budget for the movie isn’t good, that could end up making the series look awful, but since it is a superhero movie, I could see it getting a pretty good budget and therefore getting good graphics. Also, Hollywood is good at doing superhero movies right now, so this would be the perfect time for T&B to be adapted to a live action Hollywood movie.

      Finally, as for all of the horrid decisions that were made when “Dragonball: Evolution” got adapted, I highly doubt this would happen to a Hollywood live action adaptation of T&B, because Ozaki-san and the others who have worked on it, would simply not allow for that to happen. Ozaki-san has mentioned his desire for a Hollywood live action adaptation of the series since the beginning (or, at least, for a very long while now), so he must have something envisioned and in mind for if/when it happens. And that reassures me.

      Basically, I think the fact that live action Hollywood adaptations of anime series have flopped and failed, is not because of them being “anime” or anything like that, but because of poor choices on what to bring over. T&B would be a good choice, and I am actually someone who is looking forward to the Death Note live action Hollywood adaptation that is currently in the works, because I think it could work well with mainstream Westerners, so long as the director stays faithful to the source material, which he plans to. So yeah, it all just comes down to picking the right anime to bring over and adapt, and I definitely think T&B is one of those titles.

      • I appreciate the much thought-out diatribe to my innocuous comment. Wasn’t aware of pushing any buttons, nor was it my intention. I just remember all of the fanfare that was associated with the Dragonball movie YEARS before it was ever made; with ridiculous star picks and unfounded gossip and so forth and I just see it happening all over again. I’d sooner everyone focus on the anime movies that ARE in production, and have people marshal their resources to push for a second season, than banter about something that will be years (if ever) in the actual making, that’s all.

        • Ah, sorry if I came off to aggressive in my rebuttal. I just really don’t like it when people use the “since Dragonball Evolution was horrid any and all anime to Hollywood adaptations in the future will be horrid, too” argument. So, it is more me being frustrated at that argument in general, since I find it to be a rather faulty and invalid one.

          Also, I do agree with you. I don’t mind some discussion on a possible live action adaptation of anything, but I would rather talk about the series and what movies (anime) are coming out and so on and so forth, rather than an adaptation that may or may not happen or is years off.

  10. A bit late here, but everyone knows that Sky High can only be a younger, blonder Tom Cruise. So until a time machine is invented, there’s no use in making this film. xD

  11. A Hollywood adaptation of Tiger&Bunny would be great and better than a musical, as you state in the entry. My fear is that this hypothetical film would be too “American” and lose that personal touch the original series already has. Anyways, it is better to have a supervision team (the original creators) in order to balance things: A film not too Japanese and not too “already existing film adaptation of any Marvel or DC comic book”.

    As for the “dream cast”… should I think about Brad Pitt doing Jake and Ashley Greene as Kriem?

    pd. “I absolutely abhor when people use “Dragonball: Evolution” as an example for why a live action Hollywood adaptation of an anime series would be a failure. “Dragonball: Evolution” was a failure because it was a horrible choice of an anime to bring over to be adapted to a mainstream Western audience.”
    I do agree in that point.

  12. Pingback: Stage Plays And Cute Foods | This is Sternbild

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