Amazon’s Prime Video is in production on “The Silent Service,” which will mark the streaming platform’s first original movie in Japan.
Separately, Amazon confirmed that it has picked up rights to the Japanese national team’s games in the upcoming 2023 World Baseball Classic.
“The Silent Service” is a popular manga series written and illustrated by artist Kawaguchi Kaiji, which was published in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning manga magazine from 1988 to 1996, and has sold a total of 32 million copies.
The story, set in Japan’s first nuclear submarine, depicts the unpredictable actions of its captain, Kaieda Shiro, as he attempts to realize his ideal world. The story makes audience think about true peace amidst the complexities of international relations.
The live-action film is directed by Kohei Yoshino (last year’s “Anime Supremacy”) and stars Osawa Takao (“The Kingdom”) as the captain. Osawa is also set as a producer, presenter and as bridge between the production and the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Production is by Credeus Inc. (“Kingdom,” “Gintama”) with its CEO Matsuhashi Shinzo as the film’s other producer. Powerhouse distributor Toho, set to give the completed film a theatrical release in Japan on Sept. 29.
“We are sincerely grateful to be entrusted with the live-action adaptation of one of Mr. Kawaguchi’s best-known works,” said Hayakawa Takayuki, head of Japanese Originals at Prime Video.
“We will finally be able to produce a live-action version of the legendary comic ‘The Silent Service,’ which has been said to be impossible to make into a live-action film [for] over 30 years,” said Osawa. “I will play the main role, Kaieda Shiro, who escapes with Japan’s first nuclear submarine and confronts the world with the threat of nuclear weapons.”
Prime Video will livestream all of the Japanese national team’s games in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, beginning with the first round on March 9, and a couple of pre-tournament warm-up matches. Prime Video’s commentary team will feature legendary names from the world of Japanese Baseball, including former Japan national team manager Inaba Atsunori, former national team players Satozaki Tomoya, Fukudome Kosuke and Ibata Hirokazu, and former national team coach Tsuji Hatsuhiko. Saito Kazumi (Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Inc.) will provide play-by-play commentary.
Filling out the WBC programming roster are specially commissioned shows, including “Roki Sasaki and Yoshinobu Yamamoto: To the WBC Final Site,” a travelogue involving Samurai Japan teammates Sasaki and Yamamoto in the U.S.