ANIME NEWS NETWORK – Akatsuki Inc. announced on June 7 that it has handed over the rights of the live-action film adaptation of Kadokawa Games’ √Letter (pronounced “Root Letter”) game to AMMO (based in Tokyo) and AMMO Entertainment (based in California).
Akatsuki Entertainment USA announced the film in November 2018. Sonja O’Hara is directing the film. David Ebeltoft wrote the screenplay. Annmarie Sairrino, Moeko Suzuki, and Kat McPhee are producing the film.
The film will star Danny Ramirez (Top Gun: Maverick), Keana Marie (Huge in France), Lydia Hearst (The Haunting of Sharon Tate), Breon Pugh (Cloak & Dagger), and Mark St. Cyr (High School Musical: The Musical – The Series).
AMMO stated that it has finished production on the film, and Akatsuki Entertainment added that the project is still “in progress.” AMMO Entertainment is currently negotiating with potential distributors for the film.
The film’s website describes the story:
After Carlos, a young man struggling with poverty and a fractured home, receives a desperate note from Sarah, a pen pal he lost touch with a year earlier, he uses her letters as a guide to solve the mystery of her disappearance, as well as crimes she may have been a part of.
Akatsuki Inc. stated it is has “[redefined] itself as an IP producer with emphasis on games” with its 10th anniversary in 2020, and has handed over the management and execution of √Letter and its other Hollywood film project Room 203 to AMMO Entertainment. AMMO Entertainment is a Tokyo-based entertainment production company that is focusing on building “strategic partnerships between Hollywood and Japanese companies to acquire, develop and produce commercially driven intellectual properties including Japanese manga and anime.” Former Akatsuki Entertainment officers founded AMMO and AMMO Entertainment.
The √Letter mystery visual novel shipped in June 2016 in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Rice Digital and PQube released the game in Europe in October 2016, and in North America in November 2016. Kadokawa Games released the game on PC via Steam in July 2017 and for iOS and Android in August 2017.
LovePlus character designer Tarō Minoboshi planned and designed the characters. Dario Fuji handled the scenario, while Takashi Nitta composed the music. Yoshimi Yasuda produced the game, and Zin Hasegawa directed the game.
The √Letter Last Answer live-action game project, which is a re-release of √Letter, launched for the PS4, PS Vita, and Nintendo Switch in December 2018. The game included an alternative live-action “Drama Mode” and four new “Explanation” scenarios.
The game’s new “Drama Mode” replaces Tarō Minoboshi’s illustrations in the original game with live-action photographs from 90 actors, and the background illustrations based on actual Shimane prefecture locations have also been replaced with photographs of the real-life locations. Players can switch between the original illustrations and the “Drama Mode” photographs.
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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Netflix’s dual-timeline drama Plus/Minus has filled out its cast with Luke Wilson, Andrea Savage and Aisha Dee. Also joining the project is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Danny Ramirez and David Corenswet, who starred in both The Politician and Hollywood for the streamer.
They all join previously announced star Lili Reinhart, who will lead the project as Natalie, whose life, on the eve of her college graduation, diverges into two parallel realities: one in which she becomes pregnant and must navigate motherhood as a young adult in her Texas hometown, the other in which she moves to L.A. to pursue her career. In both journeys throughout her 20s, Natalie experiences life-changing love, devastating heartbreak, and rediscovers herself.
Wanuri Kahiu, who was behind the popular Kenyan romance Rafiki, is set to direct. April Prosser is behind the screenplay.
Screen Arcade’s Bryan Unkeless and Eric Newman will produce, having released sci-fi feature Project Power with the streamer. CatchLight Studios’ Jessica Malanaphy will also produce, with Screen Arcade’s Alyssa Rodrigues and Reinhart executive producing.
Dee, repped by Gersh and Animal Federation, can currently be seen in the final season of Freeform breakout series The Bold Type. Ramirez, repped by CAA, Anonymous Content and Hansen Jacobson, will next be seen in Top Gun: Maverick. Corenswet is repped by ICM, Untitled, and Jackoway Austen. Wilson is repped by CAA. Savage is repped by CAA and MGMT.
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MARVEL – When Danny Ramirez sat down with director Kari Skogland and co-executive producer Zoie Nagelhout, the two creatives asked him what he wanted to see in his character Joaquin Torres.
Ramirez shared, “I got to do a bunch of fun little things, like flipping over the security guard in Episode 1. They thought they were going to have the double do it, but I was, ‘No, no, let me jump in and do it.”
“It was so cool to learn that last-minute little hand-to-hand combat, jump over the guard, and do a little tuck and roll,” added Ramirez. “It was something I definitely wanted to do, incorporating my athletic background into Joaquin because there’s just something about how people move in stunts that reveals how they operate in a space. It was very lovely they let me do it, which led to me creating this moment that wasn’t in the script. After Joaquin tucks and rolls, it was this hesitation of trying to speak to them to say sorry in German, which created a little character nuance. He flips this guard with his agility, apologizes in a different language, and then carries forward. It gave a little extra dimension because I was able to do that roll.”