Live-Action “Grave of the Fireflies” Planned

Dresden Pictures has acquired the UK rights to Japanese war story “Grave of the Fireflies” with plans to develop a live-action feature adaptation.

Akiyuki Nosaka’s 1967 semi-autobiographical novel is set during and after the firebombing of Kobe, Japan in 1945. It follows the struggle of two orphaned Japanese children – 14 year-old Seita and his four year-old sister, Setsuko – during World War II.

The story is best known to worldwide audiences for Studio Ghibli’s 1988 animated feature film adaptation helmed by Isao Takahata, an acclaimed movie that film critics and historians often cite as one of the most powerful and devastating anti-war films ever made. Japanese broadcaster NTV produced a live action telemovie in 2005.

This however marks the first production company outside of Japan to have optioned development rights to the story. Liam Garvo and James Heath will produce and shooting aims to begin in 2014.

The news comes a few days after the Blu-ray release of the 1988 animated feature in the United States. Also this week, North American distributor GKIDS announced plans for a 25th anniversary re-release of the Studio Ghibli film in the United States next year.

Source: Screen Daily