VIZ Media, a publisher, distributor and licensor of Japanese manga and anime properties in North America, is teaming with UTA to develop live-action programming based on titles from VIZ Media’s catalog that include the uber popular Dragon Ball Z, Sail0r Moon, and Pokémon series franchises. The deal is in early stages, so no projects have been announced yet.
“We are excited to start this partnership to push the boundaries of storytelling, innovation and character through VIZ Media’s prolific portfolio,” said UTA’s Howie Sanders, Co-Head, Book Department.
This partnership will create new opportunities to capitalize on Hollywood’s strong interest in remaking Japanese amine and manga into live-action features like DreamWorks’ Ghost In The Shell, which stars Scarlett Johansson.
“The UTA partnership represents an important new direction for VIZ Media and our colleagues in Japan,” says Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer of VIZ Media. “Bringing the rich stories of manga and anime to life in new ways is an exciting opportunity with tremendous potential. UTA is an innovator that shares our vision, and their proven track record and strong relationships throughout the domestic and international entertainment sectors will be important factors as we move forward.”
Founded in San Francisco in 1986, VIZ Media is the industry leader in Japanese comic books, graphic novels and anime publishing, distribution and licensing, and is the top manga publisher in the U.S. Other titles in VIZ’s catalog include Bleach, Naruto, and Tokyo Ghoul.