Japanese animation studio Madhouse has sold live-action remake rights to cult anime title Ninja Scroll to Warner Bros Pictures.

Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the film sold more than 1 million DVD copies in the US and had a successful theatrical run in its home market. The remake deal with Warner Bros was brokered by CAA's John Levin.

The two companies previously worked together on The Matrix animated direct-to-video spin-off The Animatrix.

Madhouse is lining up further live-action remake deals as part of its expansion into international markets, and is also producing anime titles based on US properties.

The company has also pacted with Hong Kong-based Golden Network Asia which will handle Asian sales of its original productions, including 2D/3D hybrid Yona Yona Penguin.

Although best-known internationally for its animation 'work-for-hire', Madhouse is ramping up its original productions and increasing its international activity through its Los Angeles office, established in 2005.

'We've noticed that the Madhouse properties are as well known in the US and Europe as they are in Japan, but the company name is not so well known,' said Madhouse president Jungo Maruta. 'We want to get the message across that we're also a production house andopen to international collaboration.'

Madhouse will also be helping Nikkatsu - its sister company under Index Corp which has a library of 3,000 titles - to set up co-productions and remakes in the US. Meanwhile, Nikkatsu will help Madhouse with its domestic Japanese marketing and distribution.