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As Japan’s biggest anime and manga hits become increasingly mainstream in their popularity, more and more of them are getting live-action adaptations. One of the latest series tapped for the transition is Terra Formars, the sci-fi action manga from writer Yu Sasuga and Kenichi Tachibana.

The first major news about the project came in February, when it was announced that Takashi Miike will direct, and now the live-action Terra Formars has found its star.

The Terra Formars manga and anime center on an international team of super powered human/bug hybrids who travel to Mars to fight other humanoid bugs. Its protagonist, though, is Japanese, and so is the live-action Terra Formars’ lead actor, Hideaki Ito, who will be playing Shokichi Komachi.

Ito and Miike have worked together multiple times in the past. The actor starred in the Miike-directed Sukiyaki Western Django as the film’s nameless gunman, and also as the murderous high school teacher of 2012’s Lesson of the Evil. Most recently, the two collaborated on the 2014 horror film Over Your Dead Body, titled Kuime in Japan.

The established relationship between the two artists played a significant part in convincing Ito to take on the role. The actor recalls:

“At first, the idea of ‘going to Mars’ was just too much, and for a moment I thought about turning it down. But since Miike is directing, and also because the original work is interesting, I really wanted to do it.”

But while Ito has an obvious respect for Miike, who’s also helmed live-action adaptations of Ace Attorney, Crows Zero, Ichi the Killer, and Yatterman, the 39-year-old actor might find himself wishing for some of the superhuman strength of the character he’ll be portraying. “Miike does filming from morning to night, with no time to sleep. He’s an uncompromising director, and thinking about having that kid of schedule again…Honestly, I hate it,” he said with a laugh, “but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Terra Formars is scheduled to start filming this month, with its release slated for 2016.

Source, images: 2016 Terra Formars Movie Production Committee (press release)
Images (C) Yu Sasuga, Kenichi Tachibana/Shueisha (C) 2016 Terra Formars Movie Production Committee