Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Entertainment (The Walking Dead) and Toei Animation have teamed with All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW) to develop Toei's iconic anime property Gaiking. This marks a new push for Toei into the U.S. marketplace and the first development deal for ANEW. A teaser trailer featuring early test footage has been released.
Gaiking follows a young man who is recruited to serve as the lead pilot for the Super Robot Gaiking. When Earth is threatened by an alien race intent on taking over the planet, he emerges as the only one who can pilot the massive robot. Together with his fellow co-pilots he must fight off the alien force in order to save mankind.
"I'm extremely excited to be working on Gaiking," said Hurd, "which marks a huge step forward in adapting one of the best Japanese IP for a global audience."
Valhalla Entertainment recently announced their USA Network pilot Horizon for Universal Cable Productions. Additional projects on their development slate include Thunder Road for Discovery Channel, Reconstruction at The History Channel, Jane Wayne with USA Network, 11th Commandment with NBC, and Area 51 at AMC.
On the feature side, Gale Anne Hurd executive produced the upcoming Sundance Premiere film, Very Good Girls, and is moving forward on the action/thriller The Nameless with Route One. Hurd is also known for her sci-fi blockbusters The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, Armageddon and The Incredible Hulk.
ANEW, led by CEO Sandy Climan, is dedicated to partnering with Japanese underlying rights holders to develop creative content, including films, books, toys, animation, and Manga, into global English language motion pictures and television. It has an initial capitalization of $80M from the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a public-private investment fund affiliated with the Japanese government. ANEW's creative partners include a broad spectrum of the leading media and entertainment companies in Japan.
"ANEW's mission is to bring the highest quality Japanese stories to a global audience in partnership with world-class producers," said Climan, "I am thrilled that ANEW is joining with Toei Animation and Valhalla Entertainment in developing this landmark property into a major motion picture."
Toei Animation is the largest animation production company in Japan and is responsible for thousands of hours of programming, including Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, and Captain Harlock, which is being remade as a 3D CG animated feature film. Since it's founding in 1956, Toei has produced more than 10,000 episodes of TV (191 titles) and over 200 animated feature films. Toei Animation is the original rights holder of the underlying Gaiking IP and a Co-Producer with Valhalla Entertainment.
"Gaiking has long been one of the most beloved giant robot animation franchises with a global fan base. We are very excited to be partnering with Valhalla Entertainment and ANEW to bring this title to a worldwide audience as a live-action feature film, which we hope to be the first of many more to come from Toei's large stable of IPs," said Yoshi Ikezawa of Toei Animation.
Gale Anne Hurd will serve as lead producer on the project. Yoshi Ikezawa of Toei Animation and Joseph Chou will also serve as producers. Sandy Climan, Siew-Loong Tim Kwok, and Kôzô Morishita of Toei Animation are executive producing. Kris Henigman, Director of Development at Valhalla, will oversee development for the company in association with Annmarie Bailey, Vice President of Creative Affairs for ANEW.