Brave Story: According to Variety, Warner Bros. has collared theatrical rights in Japan, and an option for all rights in the rest of the world, to Fuji TV's first animated pic, Brave Story.

Based on a best-selling novel by Miyuki Miyabe, the film will be produced by Chihiro Kameyama, who's responsible for Fuji TV's hit cop film franchise "Bayside Shakedown."

Now in pre-production and budgeted at around $10 million, Brave Story is skedded to be released in Japan in summer 2006.

It's a fantasy about the adventures of a boy and his mother. Pic will be directed by Koichi Chiaki and the animation will be handled by Japanese toon shop Gonzo Digimation, which is part-owned by Fuji TV.

The pic reflects Fuji TV's quest to enter the realms of Japanese animation maestro Hayao Miyazaki, who has created a string of blockbusters including Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and The Princess Mononoke.