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College student Kei Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya) notices former childhood friend Masaru Kato (Kenichi Matsuyama) helping a drunk man who fell from a subway platform. Kei Kurono then jumps down to help his childhood friend. A few moments later, the subway train rapidly approaches and both men look on helplessly on as their life is about to end.
The next moment, Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato finds themselves in a strange apartment with a mysterious giant black sphere and others who have recently died. The massive black sphere in the center of the living room is "GANTZ". GANTZ then assigns the people gathered in the room on missions to exterminate aliens. They are given a set time and if successful will receive points. A total of 100 points will allow them to leave this purgatory like place or send someone else back to life. If they fail, they can perish forever ...
- Based on the manga "GANTZ" written by Hiroya Oku. The 27 volume manga has sold over 10 million copies.
- Distributor Toho announced on November 30th that "Gantz" will premiere in the United States on January 20th, ahead of its release in Japan on January 29th, 2011. The U.S. release will be dubbed in English and released in about 300 theaters.
- Related titles:
- GANTZ Perfect Answer (2011)
Additional Cast Members:
Q&A (PiFan 2011)
Q&A took place after a screening of "GANTZ" at the 2011 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival on July 15th. AsianWiki editor Ki Mun was there and transcribed/translated the session.
- Moderator - Here is the director of GANTZ … Shinsuke Sato.
- Shinsuke Sato - Hello, I am Shinsuke Sato. Thank you for coming here. This is my third time visiting South Korea, but first time visiting Bucheon. Even though my visit here has been short, I am enjoying my time, eating great food and talking with the people. This is also the first screening for GANTZ in South Korea. I was curious how you would react to the movie. After several previews with reporters, who generally gave fine reviews and your responses I'm happy .
- Moderator - How faithful is GANTZ to the original manga?
- Shinsuke Sato - Hiroya Oku, who wrote the original manga, told me the manga and movie are different so make the movie however I want. I shot the movie freely, but the original manga is good and there are lots of fans of the manga. After watching the movie you should have the general idea of the original manga. Also, I wanted to make the movie version of GANTZ without damaging the image of the original manga, but at the same time, I did want to make the movie enjoyable for the movie going audience who may have not read the original manga.
- Audience Question - The movie GANTZ contains lots of action scenes. Was there any difficulties shooting the action scenes?
- Shinsuke Sato - It was difficult filming the action scenes without getting the actors hurt. I asked the actors to show a lot of dynamics in their action scenes, but also not to hurt themselves. I also asked them to push the boundaries for action sequences, so they were a little confused. Most of the actors are young and athletic. Kazunari Ninomiya dances a lot (as a member of boy band Arashi) and quite capable filming action scenes, but, Kazunari's character is an ordinary guy so his actions shouldn't be that spectacular. It was a little difficult to find the right balanace.
- Audience Question - Could you explain the appeal of the movie GANTZ over the original manga?
- Shinsuke Sato - Of course a large part of the appeal for the movie version is the appearance of Kazunari Ninomiya & Kenichi Matsuyama. For the movie to work we did have to make some changes. For example, in the original manga, main characters are high school students, but since we cast Kazunari Ninomiya & Kenichi Matsuyama, we felt it would be more appropriate to have them as college students. We tried to include problems reflective of that age group like difficulties in finding jobs and also how they contribute to society through the character played by Kazunari Ninomiya.
- Moderator - Did the other members of Arashi visit the shooting set?
- Shinsuke Sato – No they did not.
- Audience Question - I was a little scared through the movie, but I had a good time watching it anyways. I would like to know if there are any funny stories involving the two main actors while filming.
- Shinsuke Sato - On the day when we shot the scene where they were exploring the statue it was Kenichi Matsuyama's birthday. Staff members told me Kazunari Ninomiya prepared a birthday cake for him and that Kazunari made the cake himself. I didn't believe he made the cake himself, but he told me he did make the cake. I had a piece of the birthday cake and it was really good. I'm the director of the movie and I didn't even remember it was Kenichi Matsuyama's birthday. The staff and I were impressed by him.
- Audience Question – During the last scene, when it was raining, Takayuki Yamada is holding an umbrella that is a different color from all the other same colored umbrellas. Was there any symbolism in that?
- Shinsuke Sato - This is the first time someone asked me that question. You are quite sharp. During that last scene, I focused on trying to make the scene look gloomy and ominous, implying what's in store for part 2. There isn't a specific meaning for the different colored umbrella, but if there were all different colored umbrellas the tone would not have been as dark. Takayuki Yamada held the only bright colored umbrella so the viewers would notice his movements. Prior to filming we planned that scene specifically like that.
- Audience Question - Before you shot the movie did you ever think of using the 2.35 anamorphic format?
- Shinsuke Sato - Your question is quite technical. There are various types of aspect ratios used in films. In the past, I made of lot of independent movies using the standard size 1.85 format. For GANTZ, I thought about filming in the movie in a widescreen ratio, but eventually I chose the standard size. I needed to take various risks and for the screen size I picked what I am familiar so I could concentrate on taking risks with other aspects of the movie.
- Audience Question – Recently, Kazunari Ninomiya played a freeter and in GANTZ he plays a university student who goes through difficulties finding a job. Does his real personality match this type of character?
- Shinsuke Sato - The drama you are talking about (Freeter, Ie wo Kau ) came out after GANTZ finished filming. By chance, Kazunari Ninomiya got a similar type of role in the drama. Kazunari Ninomiya's actual personality doesn’t fit the mold of a freeter. Obviously, when he dresses up he looks like a star, but in the movie when he is in a suit and mixed in with extras he blends in. In the first scene, Kazunari Ninomiya appears on the train station platform standing among a group of extras. It takes a while to find him. He is quite a mysterious and unique actor who can act as a normal young man.
- Audience Question - Ordinary people become serious and desperate about life because of death. This becomes a turning point for them to think about life more seriously. I don't know how the next episode will end, but I think you made this movie thinking about living the present life more deeply.
- Shinsuke Sato - While making the movie it was like a war. Shooting was very difficult. We shot part one and part two simultaneously and it took five months to complete. During this time, I kept thinking about what I can do, who I am. In the beginning of part one, Kei Kurono is an ordinary young man, but through strange situations he comes to find himself. Coincidentally, during the filming I lost my confidence and sometimes had troubles with staff members. It was a time for me to think about what I can do.
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