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Japanese short story The Street of Fruiting Bodies set for feature film

02.12.2015by: Ryan Miller

Phantasm Japan

VIZ Media’s Los Angeles-based film development division, VIZ Productions, is developing the haunting Japanese short story, THE STREET OF FRUITING BODIES, into a feature film with BATMAN screenwriter Sam Hamm on board to pen the adaptation. If you’re anything like me and this is the firs time you’re hearing of this one, the film is based on a short story by the famed Japanese author Sayuri Ueda that originally appeared in the anthology, PHANTASM JAPAN, which collected works by several bestselling authors from both the United States and Japan and was published in English in 2014 by VIZ Media’s Haikasoru literary imprint.

What is it about?

THE STREET OF FRUITING BODIES depicts the sudden spread of a mysterious and lethal species of hallucinogenic mushroom. The infestation is deadly, but it also offers visions of deceased loved ones to the infected, hinting at the reality of an afterlife, or at least a new kind of existence that is beyond human comprehension.

Jason Hoffs, Head of Production at VIZ Productions, says the story is well suited for feature film adaptation. “Sayuri Ueda turns the ‘killer virus’ concept on its head with an agent that strikes at our emotions rather than our bodies. We hope to marry the pace of a riveting popcorn movie with a compelling meditation on life-after-death, love and memory, and God."

Screenwriter Sam Hamm is best known for his script for the 1989 Tim Burton film, Batman, and also adapted short fiction for Showtime’s Masters of Horror series. He says of the new project, “Ueda creates a world in which the most profound human emotions – love, grief, longing, and hope – can lead to one's salvation or one's undoing, and the true horror is that it may be impossible to tell the difference. ‘The Street of Fruiting Bodies’ is not only disturbing, it is moving.”

Phantasm Japan

Extra Tidbit: Are any of you guys familiar with this one? Will it make for a good feature film?

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