Nov 11, 2021

Netflix Furthers It’s International Reach By Appealing to Japanese Filmmakers

It is no small secret that Netflix is targeting a world-wide domination entertainment platform. And to think they used to rent dvd. In their latest power-move Netflix is opening local studios, and releasing Netflix made Japanese movies in theaters.

“Alice in Borderland” Netflix Japan

In Netflix’s power move to increase its appeal to Japanese filmmakers, the streaming giant is engineering a pivot towards local production and feature movies, in particular. The company’s initiative was this week highlighted by the signing of iconic “Shoplifters” director Kore-eda Hirokazu to direct a big budget feature for the streamer as well as a series on which Kore-eda will be showrunner and co-director. Titles were not announced for either project at this point. Earlier this week, analysis firm Media Partners Asia said in a report that new and library anime titles drive almost half of Netflix’s current consumption in Japan.

“Films going to festivals and then finally go into theaters [is the traditional way]. But Netflix has global viewing reach. That is very attractive for so many creators,” Sakamoto (Netflix VP Japan) said. “We have many schemes. Some may be co-productions. Some we will own (as originals). It depends on the project and story.”

Japanese films on the current slate include: We Couldn’t Become Adults, directed by Mori Yoshihiro which is immediately available. Love Like the Falling Petals, from Toho Studios, will be available from March 2022. Directed by Fukagawa Yoshihiro, the film is an adaptation of a best-selling romance novel “Sakura no you na boku no koibito” by Keisuke Uyama, that caught fire on TikTok. Another romancer, without a release date, is A Blueprint for Love. The film is a remake of Korean hit film Architecture 101 and will be made with a mixed Japanese and Korean cast. To date the only cast disclosed is Yamashita Tomohisa.

The larest Japanese collaboration announcement of 2021 was, the live-action feature film of Sunrise’s Gundam, with Legendary Entertainment producing. Tapped to direct is Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) and Brian K. Vaughan penning the script.