Japan’s Happinet Phantom Studios is to launch sales at the Cannes market on an adaptation of The Box Man, directed by influential filmmaker Gakuryu Ishii and starring Masatoshi Nagase.
The 1973 novel was written by Kobo Abe and follows a nameless man who gives up his identity to live with a large cardboard box over his head, encountering a range of characters as he wanders the streets of Tokyo
Filming will begin this summer in Japan with a cast that includes Nagase, whose credits include Jim Jarmusch’s Cannes 2016 Competition title Paterson, Tadanobu Asano of Mortal Kombat and Marvel’s Thor films and veteran actor Koichi Sato of Kingdom II.
Director Ishii is known for stylistic films such as Burst City and Crazy Thunder Road, which helped spark Japan’s cyberpunk movement, and has been cited for his influence on cinema by the likes of Quentin Tarantino.
It is produced by Happinet Phantom Studios and Cogitoworks, with producers including Keisuke Konishi, who was an executive producer on Cannes Un Certain Regard title Plan 75, and Tomohiko Seki. Japanese mini-studio Happinet distributed Plan 75 in its home country.
A release is planned for 2024, which marks the 100th anniversary of author Kobo Abe’s birth, whose books such as The Box Man and Woman In The Dunes have been translated and published in more than 30 countries around the world.