Amazon has taken the first step to expand its library variety, steering into new waters with a live-action adaptation of The Silent Service. The project will mark the first original Japanese movie produced by Prime Video, and is set to premiere in Japan on 29 September 2023.
The movie is helmed by Kohei Yoshino (Anime Supremacy) and stars Osawa Takao, who played Wang Qi in the Kingdom movie series, as the protagonist. The actor is also serving as producer, presenter, and as bridge between the production and the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Production will be taken care of by Credeus Inc., the producers of Kingdom and Gintama, with the studio’s CEO Matsuhashi Shinzo serving as the film’s other producer. “We are sincerely grateful to be entrusted with the live-action adaptation of one of Mr. (Kaiji) Kawaguchi’s best-known works,” said Hayakawa Takayuki, head of Japanese Originals at Prime Video.
Published in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning Manga magazine in 1988, The Silent Service follows Kaieda Shiro, a captain from the Maritime Self-Defense Force who escapes with Japan’s first nuclear submarine and confronts the world with the threat of nuclear weapons. The series ended its run in 1996, and has sold a total of 32 million copies to date. It was adapted into an anime special in 1995, and later received a two-episode original video animation (OVA) in 1997 and 1998.
It’s unclear how faithful the live-action adaptation will be to the source material, which Osawa noted was deemed impossible to make into a live-action film. “We will finally be able to produce a live-action version of the legendary comic The Silent Service, which has been said to be impossible to make into a live-action film [for] over 30 years,” he said.