DreamWorks has acquired from Tokyo Broadcasting System the remake rights to the Japanese box office hit "Yomigaeri" ("Resurrection").
Based on a novel by Shinji Kajio, "Yomigaeri" centers on a government official who is sent to a rural town to investigate a child who, after vanishing for 60 years, returns to his mother not having aged at all.
William Nicholson is writing the screenplay.
A number of studios vied for the "Yomigaeri" rights on multiple occasions but were rejected by media giant TBS, which rarely relinquishes sequel rights. It took six months and several trips to Japan for DreamWorks execs to secure the material.
DreamWorks co-chair and CEO Stacey Snider said an English-language version of "Yomigaeri" has long been a target for the studio.
MPCA's Brad Krevoy is producing alongside Tetsu Fujimura, whose company Filosophia, in conjunction with MPCA, specializes in bringing Japanese fare to American audiences. Takashi Hirano, who produced the original Japanese film, also produces.
DreamWorks is eyeing a late 2008 start date.
Released in 2003, "Yomigaeri" also received critical acclaim, nabbing four Japanese Academy Awards for screenplay, director, actress and score.
Last month, DreamWorks acquired rights to the Japanese manga "Ghost in the Shell" and is aiming to adapt the futuristic police thriller as a 3-D live-action feature.
"Yomigaeri" marks the fourth Asian film to which DreamWorks has acquired the rights. The studio brought remakes of Japanese films "The Ring" and "The Ring Two" to the bigscreen and is in post-production on a new version of the South Korean film "A Tale of Two Sisters."
Nicholson's credits include "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; "Gladiator," along with David Franzoni and John Logan; and the feature "Shadowlands," which he originally wrote as a BBC TV movie and then later adapted for the stage as well. His "The Noble Warriors" book trilogy is in development at Sony.