According to Daily Variety, Warner Bros. has snatched up theatrical distribution rights in Japan for Brave Story, the first animated feature from Fuji TV. Warner Bros. also has an option to acquire worldwide rights to Brave Story, co-produced by Gonzo Digimation.
Brave Story is based on the best-selling, two-part fantasy novel by Miyuki Miyabe. The story centers on a 10-year-old who enters a magical world to find a cure for his mother’s illness. Koichi Chigira (Last Exile, Full Metal Panic!) will direct the CG-animated adaptation, which is reportedly budgeted at around $10 million. Producer credit will go to Chihiro Kameyama, a driving force behind Fuji TV’s popular Bayside Shakedown action flick franchise.
In June of 2004, it was reported that Disney arm Buena Vista Int’l Japan had invested in Brave Story and was set to distribute the pic locally. However, the pick-up by Warner Bros. Japan makes sense since the company previously handled theatrical distribution for such Fuji TV’s films as Meeting Venus and Memphis Belle.
The production partnership between Fuji TV’s motion picture department and Gonzo Digimation began early last year when the former invested $3.2 million in the latter.
Brave Story is now in pre-production and is slated for a summer 2006 release.