KINGDOM: Sato Shinsuke’s Next Big Scale Manga Adaptation Epic Lands A First Trailer And Poster
You can pretty much call it a banner year for I Am A Hero director Sato Shinsuke now that he’s blown minds from Japan and throughout the relative fandom with his adaptations of Inuyashiki and Bleach. With fans in unison especially calling for a sequel to the latter following its wide platform rollout on Netflix, you can certainly expect the noise to keep going, although tack on something else impressive…say, the latest official teaser trailer for Warring States period drama, Kingdom and you’re pretty much left with your head spinning at this point.
Taken from the pages of Hara Yasuhisa’s 2006 Weekly Shonen Jump publication, the film sets actor Yamazaki Kento starring with Yoshizawa Ryo for the Qin Dynasty tale about an orphan whose fateful encounter with the young boy destined to be emperor sees the former becoming his general in their efforts to unify China. Yamazaki, whose recent credits include Miike Takashi’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable and Fukuda Yuichi’s Psychic Kusuo, previously led Ohno Hiroki’s epic narrative in a ceremonial three-minute trailer back in 2016 to celebrate the manga’s tenth anniversary.
The aforementioned mangaka’s publication has run 51 volumes to date prior to its 2012 anime transition from Pierrot with a 77-epsiode listing. That’s not to suggest the film covers all 51 volumes; By comparison, Sato’s Bleach spans about seven volumes (with the anime stretching about 20 episodes), covering the Soul Reaper Agent Arc with sheer brevity and comprehension to bring forth such a solid and fantastic story that it’s no wonder that fans want more.
The given formula here may very well apply to what Sato has done for Kingdom, and according to Mark Schilling at Variety, Sony Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch is surely granting his vote of confidence. Rising to challenge the notion that Hara’s manga was unfilmable, Panitch told the press “We keep making films that people think may be impossible to do,” while at an event in Tokyo on Tuesday, adding that Kingdom “is the sort of strong IP that we’re looking for” in local production projects.
The film also reunites Sato with Yoshizawa who principally co-starred in the role of Ishida Uryu, the surviving Quincy tribe warrior opposite lead actor Fukushi Sota in Bleach, as well as saidistic Shinsengumi samurai cop Sougo Okita in Fukuda’s first and second Gintama adaptations. Actresses Nagasawa Masami, Hashimoto Kanna, Hongo Kanata, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Takashima Masahiro and Kaname Jun and Osawa Takao round out the cast.
I still need to see Inuyashiki myself, and lo and behold I’ve heard great things about that film as I’d expect from a director whose work in my first exposure years ago was The Princess Blade – not everyone’s favorite since Shaku Yumiko is no Jeeja Yanin, but she nonetheless kills it in my book. Obviously there won’t be a U.S. release date announced for Kingdom anytime soon seeing as Japan has first dibs, so I’d recommend sticking this on your post-it note wall for a 2019 reminder sometime in the Summer or Fall unless noted.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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