Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. has acquired theatrical rights in Japan and an option for rights in the rest of the world for Fuji TV's first animated feature film, Brave Story. The anime feature is based on a best-selling novel (by Miyuki Miyabe). Gonzo Digimation, which is partially owned by Fuji TV, will animate the film, which has a $10 million budget. According to Variety Brave Story represents an attempt on Fuji TV's part to 'enter the realm of Japanese animation maestro Hayao Miyazaki, who has created a string of blockbusters including Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and The Princess Mononoke.' Given the enormous success of Miyazaki's films throughout the world and of the Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar digitally animated efforts such as Shrek 2 and The Incredibles here and abroad, Warner Bros.' interest in this anime feature makes it appear that Warner's, which recently distributed the Yu-Gi-Oh movie in the U.S., also wants entry into the lucrative world of animated features.
Brave Story, which Koichi Chiaki is directing, is currently slated for a release in Japan in the summer of 2006.