Skybound Grows Animation Slate with New Japan-Based Studio

Skybound Grows Animation Slate with New Japan-Based Studio

Skybound Entertainment is heading eastward to open up a new studio in Tokyo, Japan.

The studio behind Invincible and The Walking Dead are setting up shop there with the express purpose of focusing on properties made specifically from that country’s crop of manga and anime creators. Heading up the studio will be Ash Nukui, a producer on the Japanese miniseries Sniffer the Investigation Officer and the film Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. As Skybound noted in the press release, this is its second offshoot studio this year (preceded by Skybound North in Vancouver) and “marks a significant new chapter representing and producing Japanese content.”

First up on Skybound Japan’s docket will be an adaptation of its graphic novel Heart Attack. Created Shawn Kittelsen, Eric Zawadzki, and Mike Spicer, the 2020 series is set in a post-pandemic United States that’s managed to successfully eliminate all disease through gene therapy. But in its wake, people with unique powers called “Variants” have been created, with many of them forming a rebellion after the government begins to take away their rights. The live-action adaptation will star the comic’s teen protagonists Charlie and Jill, a pair of Variants who cross paths. When their attraction to one another ends up unlocking their powers, the two go on the run from Variant trackers.

Skybound will be teaming with Japanese network Fuji TV for production and local broadcasting. The company’s managing partner Rick Jacobs called the incoming adaptation “just the beginning of what we hope to achieve in the Japanese market.” According to Deadline, Skybound has plans to build out its reach even further—and with the recent revival of Spike & Mike’s Animation Festival, it’s clear the studio wants to make itself a big name in the animation space across the globe.

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