By MICHAEL GINGOLD
The creators of a popular faux trailer are seeking to make another pilot film and the feature expansion a reality.
NINJA VERSE is a sci-fi action movie that a Japanese moviemaking team is developing in the wake of the success of ZVP (pictured), a trailer for a nonexistent flick pitting the blind swordsman Zatoichi against the Predator (see it below). The 2017 minimovie has won over 9.6 million views since it debuted on YouTube; there was widespread interest in a feature version, but securing the rights to both Zatoichi and the Predator proved impossible. So writer/director/producer Junya Okabe (former vice president and creative director at Tsuburaya Production) and his team are prepping a similar eight-minute pilot film containing new characters, with an eye toward expanding it to full length. The synopsis: “In the early Edo era, a giant extraterrestrial object crashed into the mountains. Three ninjas are ordered to conduct surveillance by the shogunate and encounter the wreckage of a gigantic UFO and strange extraterrestrial creatures. Contact with super technology from outer space leads the three ninjas into a life ruled by bizarre phenomena completely betraying common sense.”
A Kickstarter page has been set up to raise financing for the project, offering numerous perks plus a bunch of photos and production art for ZVP.