Warners Coup Seizes “Occupied City”

Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up the film rights to David Peace’s Japanese crime thriller novel “Occupied City” reports Risky Biz Blog

The story is a “Rashomon”-esque tale depicting the shifting perspectives of people involved in the real life Teikoku Bank incident of 1948. That incident involved sixteen employees of a Tokyo bank being subjected to cyanide poisoning given to them by a man claiming to be an epidemiologist sent by U.S. occupation forces to inoculate the employees against dysentery.

When all were incapacitated, the man stole all the money he could find. Ten of the victims died at the scene, two died later in hospital. A man named Hirasawa Sadamichi was ultimately convicted of the murders and died over three decades later in prison, but is widely believed to have been innocent.

Polly Johnsen is producing the film. The book is the second of a trilogy by Pearce set during the U.S. military occupation of Japan. Peace also penned both “The Damned United” and the “Red Riding” quartet, both of which were translated to the screen last year in the UK.