Japan’s Asmik Ace Entertainment has announced details of a long-awaited third installment in the cult Tetsuo franchise, which will also mark director Shinya Tsukamoto’s English-language debut.
Tentatively titled Tetsuo Project, the film has just wrapped and is in post-production after quietly shooting for one year. Asmik Ace, which co-produced with Tsukamoto’s production outfit Kaiju Theater, plans to introduce it to sales agents and buyers in Cannes.
The project started life when Quentin Tarantino asked Tsukamoto to write a new English-language version of Tetsuo, about a man mutating into a metallic killing machine, set in the US. However, the project was never produced as Tsukamoto wasn’t sure the concept would translate to America, and he decided to take the story back to Tokyo instead.
In addition to writing and directing Tetsuo Project, Tsukamoto is also credited as DoP, art director and editor and also acts in the film opposite US actor Eric Bossick. Kaiju Theater’s Shinichi Kawahara produced the film with Masayuki Tanishima of Asmik Ace.
On making the announcement, Tanishima said: “I’m extremely thrilled to bring this new cyber-punk project from Tokyo to the global audience. I call this project a ‘solid metal psychic battle action thriller’. This is a totally new Tetsuo for the 21st century.”
The film will also mark the 20th anniversary of the first film in the franchise, Tetsuo The Iron Man (1989), which won the Grand Prix at Rome’s Fantafestival and went on to screen at 22 other film festivals. It was also released in 12 territories including the US and UK.
The sequel, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992), also won a string awards at festivals, including Fantasporto and Sitges, and was released in 15 territories.
More recently Tsukamoto has directed films such as erotic thriller A Snake Of June, which won the San Marco special jury award at Venice in 2003, and sci-fi thriller Nightmare Detective which was picked up by The Weinstein Company.