“City Hunter” to be first Japanese live-action film adaptation on Netflix
It was announced on the 15th that the manga “City Hunter” will be adapted into a live-action film on Netflix. This will be the first live-action adaptation of the work in Japan, and it will be exclusively distributed worldwide in 2024. The cast and staff information has also been released, with Ryo Saeba played by Ryohei Suzuki as the lead and Yushi Sato as the director.
“City Hunter” is a popular work based on a manga of the same name serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump by Tsukasa Hojo from 1985 to 1991, which has sold over 50 million copies in total. The story follows the protagonist, Ryo Saeba, also known as “City Hunter,” as he takes on various requests and fights against evil that cannot be punished by the law in Shinjuku. Along with his partner Kaori Makimura, their adventures are depicted in a hard-boiled and occasionally comedic manner.
The anime adaptation was broadcast in 1987, followed by a theatrical version. It has also been adapted into a live-action film, with movies released in Hong Kong in 1993 and France in 2019, as well as a stage adaptation by the Takarazuka Revue in Japan in 2021.
The live-action film will be shot in the actual streets of Shinjuku, utilizing the unique nuances of the Japanese language that are expressed in the original work. The story will be set in modern-day Shinjuku, with character settings being slightly updated.
Specifically, Ryo’s outfit will not be the jacket appearance from the anime version, but instead the long coat from the original manga. The coat will be changed from a stand-up collar to a tie-rockin coat. In the photos that were released, Ryohei Suzuki can be seen with his finger on the trigger of his beloved Colt Python .357 Magnum, standing against the backdrop of Shinjuku’s night view at the City Hunter’s office. This depicts the story of the modern-day Ryo Saeba, who lives in the Reiwa era and is set in Shinjuku.
Comment by Tsukasa Hojo, the author of the original manga:
It took about 10 years to come up with the idea (laughs), but we finally started production. I had always thought that if it were to be adapted into a live-action film, I would like someone who loves “City Hunter” to do it. Then, I received a proposal that Ryohei Suzuki would play the role of Ryo Saeba.
It took a long time, but thanks to Ryohei’s passion, we were finally able to reach this day. I was able to visit the set during filming, and the atmosphere was very pleasant, with no compromises made in the details of the shooting. I feel very excited to be involved with such talented actors and staff. Although it may be a misuse of words, I would be happy if they could pursue a realistic and cinematic entertainment rather than being obsessed with manga-like expressions.
Director: Yuichi Sato
Executive Producer: Shinichi Takahashi
Producers: Keisuke Sanpei, Kosho Oshita
Screenplay: Tatsuro Mishima
Music: Yoshihide Otomo
Director of Photography: Motoyanagi Kiyohisa
Lighting: Kenichi Hamada
Sound Recording: Masaharu Tanabe
Art Director: Kentaro Kosaka
Set Decorator: Chuo Kobayashi
Costume Design: Kumiko Ogawa, Shuhei Sakagami
Hair and Makeup Direction: Keisuke Sakai
Makeup: Eri Shiotani
Action Director: Minehisa Tanimoto
Scripter: Rie Fujishima
Location Manager: Hirotaka Takeishi
Produced by: Horipro, Office Shirous
Original Work Cooperation: Coamix