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“BATMAN” & “HOMECOMING” scripter adapting “PHANTASM JAPAN” story for the screen

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No, the Tall Man isn’t turning Japanese. A short story from the celebrated collection PHANTASM JAPAN, which compiles works by authors from both the eponymous country and the U.S., is becoming a feature film.

STREETOFFRUITINGBODIESNEWSVIZ Media has announced that its film development division VIZ Productions is turning “The Street of Fruiting Bodies,” the PHANTASM JAPAN tale by Sayuri Ueda, into a movie. Sam Hamm, who scripted Tim Burton’s BATMAN and Joe Dante’s standout MASTERS OF HORROR entry HOMECOMING, has been tapped to write the adaptation. “Street” deals with the proliferation of a mysterious and deadly species of hallucinogenic mushroom that gives those infected visions of dead loved ones, suggesting the possibility of an afterlife—or some other new kind of existence.

“Sayuri Ueda turns the ‘killer virus’ concept on its head with an agent that strikes at our emotions rather than our bodies,” says VIZ Productions’ Jason Hoffs. “We hope to marry the pace of a riveting popcorn movie with a compelling meditation on life after death, love and memory, and God.”

Adds Hamm, “Ueda creates a world in which the most profound human emotions—love, grief, longing and hope—can lead to one’s salvation or one’s undoing, and the true horror is that it may be impossible to tell the difference. ‘The Street of Fruiting Bodies’ is not only disturbing, it is moving.” VIZ Productions was involved with last year’s Tom Cruise vehicle EDGE OF TOMORROW (based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel ALL YOU NEED IS KILL), and is currently developing a new feature from Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s popular manga DEATH NOTE (previously filmed by Shusuke Kaneko). For more information on PHANTASM JAPAN, click here.

About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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