Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
If you liked the down on his luck superhero elements of the Will Smith film Hancock, but weren’t as much into the ‘gods and love’ story that dominated the second half, you should give some attention to Big Man Japan. That is Hitoshi Matsumoto‘s 2007 Japanese mock documentary about a guy who can grow to gigantic size and fight monsters, but has to deal with a sagging public image. (It was released in Japan as Dainipponjin.)
Big Man Japan is weird fun, full of goofy CGI, and has one of the most batshit crazy endings I’ve seen in some time. (The end really plays with the film’s intentional similarity to Ultraman, and given that the rest of the film has things like a giant monster with an eye-tipped penis tentacle, the fact that the end stands out as really crazy should tell you something.) So, naturally, an American studio is going to try to produce a remake.
Variety announces that Columbia Pictures and Original Film have made a deal to remake the Japanese movie. There is no director or script at this point, and consequently no one to act in the movie. But Neal Moritz (Fast Five, The Green Hornet) is producing and Phil Hay and Matt Mandredi (Clash of the Titans) have been hired to write. Those three names don’t give me a lot of confidence at this point. We’ve already got Hancock, so I’m not sure what niche a direct remake of this movie would fill, and I don’t expect this team to deliver anything quite as kooky as the original film. (Even taking into account that Clash of the Titans was really hobbled in the production and editing stages — don’t blame the script for that movie.)
The one saving grace is that Hitoshi Matsumoto will take part in the remake. He told the trade, “With an ordinary remake, you just turn over everything to someone else and do nothing yourself, but this time I’ll take part in the remake in some form or other, so I’d like to make something interesting and fun and different from ‘Big Man Japan.’”
Matsumoto also has a new film opening this week in Japan called Saya-zamurai, aka Scabbard Samurai.
Here’s the trailer for Big Man Japan: