True Legend distributor and Samuel L. Jackson team up for live-action Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai
Afro Samurai

The Indomina Group, the indie distributor that recently released Yuen Woo Ping’s True Legend, is teaming up with Samuel L. Jackson and Gonzo Studios to produce a live action film based on the Afro Samurai animated series. The announcement was made by Indomina’s Vice Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann, who will serve as producer with Samuel L. Jackson and Gonzo Studios’ Shin Ishikawa. Eli Selden of Anonymous Content is executive producing.

Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson has been close to the franchise for a number of years having voiced Afro Samurai for the 2007 anime TV mini-series and again for the 2009 Emmy-winning animated TV movie Afro Samurai: Resurrection.

Said Jackson, “This has been one of my very favorite properties ever since our amazing debut at Comic Con with the original series pilot out of Japan. I can’t wait to produce the epic feature film version with our new partners at The Indomina Group.”

Producers plan to attach a writer and director this summer and complete casting by the end of the year. The film will be shot at Pinewood Indomina Studios in the Dominican Republic next year.

Indomina optioned the rights to Afro Samurai from Gonzo and will make the project the first feature film production from its production arm. Stacey Smart Stanley is overseeing the project’s development for Indomina while Chris Carlisle will be point person for Gonzo.

Afro Samurai is a Japanese seinen dōjinshi manga series written and illustrated by manga artist Takashi Okazaki. It was originally serialized irregularly in the avant-garde dōjinshi manga magazine Nou Nou Hau from September 1999 to May 2000. Inspired by Takashi Okazaki’s love of soul, hip hop music and American media, Afro Samurai follows the life of Afro Samurai, who witnessed his father being killed by the hands of a gunslinger named Justice, as a child. As an adult, Afro sets off to avenge his father’s death and kill Justice.

The Afro Samurai dōjinshi was adapted into a 5-episode anime TV series by Studio Gonzo in 2007. The same studio also went on to produce a made-for-TV movie sequel entitled Afro Samurai: Resurrection in 2009, which gained two Emmy nominations, for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation, which it won, and Outstanding Animated Program. After the release of the anime series, Takashi Okazaki remade the original Afro Samurai dōjinshi into a two-volume manga.

In addition to the success of the anime series, Afro Samurai has also been adapted into a video game. For the TV series and the film, two soundtracks by Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA have been released as well as a profile book in Japan.

The Indomina Group is an independent film studio launched in 2008 by Jasbinder Singh Mann. Operating in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, Indomina takes a transmedia approach to collaborating with content creators around the world. Indomina’s global operations include the production and distribution of motion pictures, television, music, interactive games, and the ownership of world-class studio facilities and production services.

Earlier this year Indomina inked an exclusive multi-year distribution deal with Vivendi Entertainment that spans home video, digital, internet, television, VOD and mobile platforms, focusing on genre-based content and creating a destination for young, dedicated consumers of the fanboy culture.

The company most recently released Yuen Woo Ping’s martial arts epic True Legend, starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Michelle Yeoh and the late David Carradine. Indomina’s next release will be the quirky romantic comedy Griff the Invisible, starring Ryan Kwanten, which opens in select markets on August 19, 2011.

Indomina has also partnered with the legendary Pinewood Studios, to build, operate, manage and market a new state-of-the-art film and television studio facility in the Dominican Republic. Pinewood Indomina Studios is a full-service, world-class production facility for film, TV, and other related media content.