It’s a Japanese legend that folding 1000 origami cranes will grant you a wish – but what happens when you direct 100 movies? Immortality? The power of flight? Two wishes?!
Takashi Miike is about to find out. With 99 titles credited to him since 1991 on IMDb, the genre hopping Japanese director has averaged about almost exactly 4 movies a year over the last 25 years. With only one movie currently slated for 2016, there’s not a doubt in my mind that he will cross that threshold, and may god help us all when he does.
As we await for that day of reckoning to arrive, however, we can enjoy this latest teaser for his upcoming sci-fi adaptation, TERRA FORMARS (orig. テラフォーマーズ Tera Foumaazu), whose punny title took me entirely too long to register. Set for release in late April 2016, TERRA FORMARS all-star cast will include previous Miike collaborators such as Hideaki Itō (Lesson of the Evil, Sukiyaki Western Django), Takayuki Yamada (13 Assassins), Emi Takei (Rurouni Kenshin), and Shun Oguri (Lupin III), as well as the internationally renowned Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) and Rila Fukushima (The Wolverine).
Based on the popular Yū Sasuga manga of the same name, TERRA FORMARS is a sprawling interplanetary saga set five-hundred years after 21st century scientists send cockroaches and moss to Mars in an effort to terraform the planet to suitably host human life. When a return expedition is sent to report on the results of this effort, they discover the cockroaches have evolved into superpowered bipedal monsters who wipe out the crew almost immediately, though not before they manage to send a message to Earth alerting them of the development. Now, facing the double threat of mutants on Mars and a deadly plague on Earth, the nations of the world must band together to ensure there’s at least one habitable planet for mankind.
While the manga itself is an intense and violent story, it appears Miike is taking a slightly lighter approach to the material, highlighting the inherent goofiness of live-action killer giant cockroach men. If anything, this will at least ensure he sidesteps the censorship the anime adaptation has had to endure.