Anime Giant Toei Teams With ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Designer, ‘Shrek 2’ Writer on ‘Hypergalactic’

Japanese anime giant Toei Animation (One Piece Film: Red, The First Slam Dunk) is teaming with Sonic the Hedgehog game designer Naoto Oshima, Shrek 2 and The Smurfs writer David N. Weiss and acclaimed animation producer Joseph Chou (Ghost in the Shell, Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim) on the English-language animated feature Hypergalactic.

Weiss will direct Hypergalatic with the story and characters co-created by Oshima and Chou. Toei is calling the film its biggest CGI project to date. The Japanese studio is flying high on the success of animated sports drama The First Slam Dunk, which has earned more than $279 million worldwide, and One Piece Film: Red, which has grossed more than $246 million globally.

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Adam Devine, Elsie Fisher, J.K. Simmons and Sam Richardson have joined the voice cast of the English-language production. Charades is representing worldwide rights and will launch sales at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin next week together with Iwashina Corporation founder Kevin Iwashina, an advisor to Toei Animation.

The plot of Hypergalactic follows an adventurous teenage girl (Fisher) and her baby brother in the not-so-distant future, after they liberate the forgotten protector of Earth, Ohkan (Devine), in the hopes that he can help reunite them with their missing parents. Together, the unlikely trio sets off on a surprise-filled journey, discovering the deeper meaning of family along the way. Hypergalatic is currently in post-production.

Yoshi Ikezawa from Toei is producing, with executive producers Kozo Morishita, Katsuhiro Takagi and Tim Kwok.

“With Hypergalactic, the hugely talented game designer Oshima has created a multicultural adventure tale of epic scale — combining memorable global characters with a Japanese Anime aesthetic and a Western approach to storytelling,” said Ikezawa in a statement. “We look forward to delivering our brand of quality animation to broader global audiences beyond our existing loyal and committed fan base.”

Added Yohann Comte, co-CEO of Charades: “Toei Animation has established itself as one of the most consistent global creators of quality animation. Hypergalactic is the result of their experience in creating recognizable global IP, the team’s ability to adapt manga into successful universal Anime – such as Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon – and their interest in supplying stories for an array of audiences. I believe Hypergalactic is a rare opportunity for the independent film marketplace to partner with one of the most significant companies in animation.”

Devine is represented by CAA, Avalon Management and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich, Goodell & Gellman. Fisher is represented by Innovative Artists. Simmons is represented by The Gersh Agency. Richardson is represented by UTA, Artists First, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Weiss is represented by Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo.

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