EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is developing an English-language feature adaptation, If Cats Disappeared from the World, based on Genki Kawamura’s bestselling Japanese book and 2016 Japanese film of the same name. Kit Steinkellner, creator of the Facebook Watch series, Sorry for Your Loss, will pen the screenplay with Kawamura producing and Toho film, the production company of the Japanese film adaptation, attached to the project as well.
Heroes alum Masi Oka is also producing the pic alongside Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway helmer Will Gluck and Jodi Hildebrand through Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment.
The story follows The Young Postman whose days are numbered. Estranged from his family and living alone with only his cat, Cabbage, to keep him company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. Before he can tackle his bucket list, the devil shows up to make him an offer: In exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, the postman will be granted one extra day of life beginning a very strange week that brings the young postman and his beloved cat to the brink of existence. With each object that disappears, the postman reflects on the life he’s lived, his joys and regrets, and the people he’s loved and lost. It is a story of loss and reconciliation, and of one man’s journey to discover what really matters most in life.
The English language version of If Cats Disappeared from the World was published by Macmillan imprint’s Picador for the UK and Flatiron for the U.S.
Currently, Steinkellner is adapting a film version of her debut graphic novel Quince for Netflix. Other credits include writing the script for How The Girl Guides Won The War feature at Lionsgate and developing a pilot with Danny Strong and Darren Aronofsky for Fox 21 and FX.
Oka’s upcoming projects include Mega Man, a film based on the classic Capcom videogame; Live Die and Repeat and Repeat starring Tom Cruise for Warner Bros, as well as the WB film Attack on Titan with Andy Muschietti directing.
Gluck is currently producing Encore! for Disney+, dramedy series Woke for HULU, an adult animated comedy for Netflix, Sneakerheads for Complex, among others.
Kawamura, who produced the Oscar-nominated animated film, Mirai, is currently producing the live-action adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name alongside JJ Abrams for Paramount Studios. Arrival scribe Eric Heisserer is scripting and Marc Webb is directing.
Steinkellner is repped by Circle of Confusion and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson; Oka by UTA, Luber Roklin and Eric Sherman with Ziffren Brittenham; Olive Bridge by UTA and Offer Weber.