It seems that the stars of bizarre oddities have aligned, as it’s been reported by Hollywood Reporter that a “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” movie is happening. Not only that, it’s being directed by the Japanese king of strange, Takashi Miike.
For the uninitiated, “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” is a multi-generational story about the Joestar family bloodline (which of course hits some name changes here and there), who always get pulled into situations in which they rally with a group of others to take down an impending evil that seems to be attracted to them. Aside from the fact that there are multiple protagonists in a jumping timeline, it’s the style, insanity, and memorable characters that gives it its flavor (think of it as a mix of “Fist of the North Star” with a dash of “Dragonball”), as well as a heaping dosage of pop culture references in the names of the characters and their abilities (Dio, Robert E.O. Speedwagon, and Cars being a few of the standouts). With a manga that’s been in print since 1987, as well as an anime series currently in it’s 4th chapter, an animated feature film, video games, and novels, it’s amassed a huge following that’s only become more popular since the new series was released several years ago.
Being joint produced by Warner Bros. and Toho, the movie is primarily focused on the 4th chapter that the anime series is currently on, “Diamond is Unbreakable.” The story focuses on Josuke Higashikata (being played Kento Yamazaki), and his life being turned upside down when he finds out he’s the illegitimate child in the Joestar bloodline. He finds out from his relative, Jotaro Kujo, who’s also investigating a rise in people with powers called Stands in Josuke’s hometown of Morioh. But during the investigation, a whole slew of dark secrets and problems arise, including who’s manufacturing these Stand users and a serial killer who lives inside their once quiet town. While it’s not the most cohesive chapter of the series, which has quite a fair share of filler, it’s over the top nature and great characters help move things along with pure entertainment.
Takashi Miike is probably the most natural choice for this movie. Although the quality in his filmography has been somewhat inconsistent, he no doubt has an eclectic mix of genres that has an unmistakable style. His off-beat humor, use of ultraviolence to near comedic effect, and an absolute earnest devotion to strangeness make him probably the only person who can give this epic justice. It also helps that he’s no stranger to adaptations, as he’s helmed several movies based on manga (“Ichi the Killer,”), videogames (“Yakuza,” “Phoenix Wright”), and remakes (“13 Assassins,” “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai”). If you want a good idea of what this movie’s style will probably end up being like, “Ichi the Killer” and his latest release “Yakuza Apocalypse” will probably give you the best idea of what’s in store.
While not much else is known, it was accidentally revealed (and then elaborated on) that filming would happen near Barcelona, Spain, which according to Miike has the style similar to that of Morioh, and that the movie will receive a global release in Summer 2017.