People of Culture, Yoshimoto Kogyo Team Up to Produce Zombie Mockumentary

People of Culture, Yoshimoto Kogyo Team Up to Produce Zombie Mockumentary

East meets West—at least in an apocalyptic future—with the announcement that a Japanese talent agency will be coproducing a new zombie mockumentary with a U.S.-based studio.

The deal was sealed this week between Tokyo-based Yoshimoto Kogyo and Los Angeles-based People of Culture Studios. The two companies will be producing Among the Dead, a film written by comic-book artist/screenwriter Andrew Cosby along with Patrick Hasson and Juan Carlos Saizarbitoria. Cosby, who created such titles as Hellboy, 2 Guns, and Eureka, doubles as PoC’s chief creative officer.

In announcing the deal, Cosby said: “Yoshimoto has such an amazing roster of talent, it provides us with endless opportunities for creative collaboration. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

In their script, a man forsakes all human contact to live with zombies who have survived a planet-wide catastrophe. His aim is to document their final days, unaware that it is his own vanishing life that is being recorded.

Cosby will be in charge of the production along with the Japanese theater director Wada Ryoichi, whose play Ghost in the Box was likely the inspiration for Ueda Shinichiro’s indie cult film One Cut of the Dead. Originally, Wada had accused Ueda of plagiarism until they settled their dispute, with Wada now credited as co-creator. Like the zombies they feature, this script seems to have taken on a life of its own: Final Cut, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, was the opening film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with both Wada and Ueda credited for the original story.

Among the Dead is not the first project involving Wada and People of Culture. Earlier in 2022, they agreed to develop and produce Ninja Maxx, an animated series based on an original manga concept by Wada.

Founded in 1912, Yoshimoto Kogyo is one of Japan’s oldest and largest entertainment studios, with some 6,000 performers linked to it.

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Its specialty is in representing comedic talent.
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The firm also owns theaters and TV studios.

People of Culture, which boasts of being the first minority-owned Hollywood content studio, is also involved in some other Japanese-themed projects, including the film and TV series Tokyo Under Night as well as a film based on Casablanca. It also produced Yasuke: Soul of a Samurai, based on the true story of an enslaved African man in sixteenth-century feudal Japan.

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