Leading Japanese entertainment company Shochiku announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to the CG animated feature Vexille.

The $10m sci-fi film is directed by Fumihiko Sori, who previously worked on hit CG-animations Ping Pong as director and Appleseed as producer, from a script written by Appleseed writer Haruka Handa.

The latter animation was released theatrically in more than 30 countries, sold over 150,000 DVD units in Japan, and over 300,000 units in the US.

Vexille is set in the future when the United Nations has banned robot and biotechnology research in order to protect humankind. Japan has isolated itself with a sophisticated ultra-magnetic field which prevents anyone from seeing what is going on inside - or travelling in and out of - the country. The US sends in a special force unit called SWORD, led by a female commander called Vexille, to infiltrate the country and find out which banned technologies they are developing.

Main characters will be voiced by Meisa Kuroki (Who's Camus Anyway', One Last Call: Final), Yasuko Matsuyuki (Hula Girls) and Shosuke Tanihara (Fudoh: The New Generation).

With a spring 2007 wrap date, Shochiku says the film will see a wide release in late summer 2007.