BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE in US Theaters on July 10
Samuel Goldwyn Films Releases Live Action Film Based on Hit Anime
Source: Samuel Goldwyn Films press notes
Official Movie Site: Blood The Last Vampire
Special Thanks to Teresa DiMartino, Jean McDowell, and Sharon Siegel
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie.
Following theatrical releases in Japan, France, Hong Kong, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, Chris Nahon’s martial arts action thriller BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE will open this month in American cinemas. The film is a live action adaption of the award-winning anime of the same name from Production I.G. (GHOST IN THE SHELL, KILL BILL VOl. 1) and Aniplex. The new movie was created by an international partnership that includes East Wing Holdings Corp., Pathé, the Hong Kong-based EDKO Film, the French production company SAJ, and cooperation and support from Production I.G.
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE will be released theatrically by Samuel Goldwyn Films in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Berkeley, Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Washington DC, San Francisco, Honolulu, Aiea, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Irvine, Seattle, Las Vegas, and New York on Friday, July 10th.
The following press notes, photos, promotional art, and video clips are courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films…
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE
EAST WING HOLDINGS CORP. AND SAJ Present A CHRIS NAHON FILM
Rating: R / Running Time: 89 minutes
WHERE EVIL GROWS SHE PREYS
On the surface, Saya is a stunning 16-year-old girl, but that youthful exterior hides the tormented soul of a 400-year-old “halfling”.
Born to a human father and a vampire mother, she has for centuries been a loner, obsessed with using her samurai skills to rid the world of vampires, all the while knowing that she herself can survive only on blood like those she hunts. When she is sent to an American military base in Tokyo by the clandestine organization for whom she works, Saya immediately senses that this may be her opportunity to finally destroy Onigen, the evil patriarch of all vampires. Using her superhuman strength and her sword, she begins to rid the base of its evil infestation in a series of spectacular and elaborate showdowns. However, it is not until she forms her first human friendship in centuries with the young daughter of the base’s general that Saya learns her greatest power over Onigen may well be her ability to make a human connection…
Renowned producers Bill Kong (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON; HERO) and Abel Nahmias (11 COMMANDMENTS, LA BEUZE) team up with director Chris Nahon (KISS OF THE DRAGON) on this English language vampire slaying adventure, where the hope of the world rests in the hands of a beautiful young woman.
Chris Nahon’s new action thriller is adapted from a popular anime film by Production I.G of the same title, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE, which was released worldwide in 2000. It is a 48-minute suspense movie directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo (who was the key animator for Katsuhiro Otomo’s AKIRA). The story is set in Japan during the fall of 1966, when the United States involvement in Vietnam has turned into a full-scale conflict. The film features the story of a young girl named Saya: armed with a Japanese sword, she is sent by a mysterious “organization” to hunt down vampires that are hiding amongst the inhabitants of the Yokota U.S. Air Force Base – a small American enclave 30 km from Tokyo.
Production I.G’s original anime film won the following awards around the globe:
• The World Animation Celebration 2001 – Best Theatrical Feature Film
• 6th Animation Kobe 2001 – Individual Award for director Hiroyuki Kitakubo
• Takasaki Film Festival 2001 – Special Prize
• Mainichi Film Awards 2000 – Ofuji Noburo Award
• Japan Media Arts Festival 2000 – Animation Category: Grand Prix
• Montreal Fantasia Film Festival 2000 – Public’s Prize Best Asia Feature Film
Mamoru Oshii, who was the Visual Concept Director of the 2000 original anime film, created a light novel in Japan in October 2000, titled Blood: The Last Vampire: Night of the Beasts. The novel was published in English in North America in 2005. Mamoru Oshii is a multi-award-winning director of animation and live-action. His 2004 work GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE was nominated for the Golden Palm in Cannes Film Festival, and in 2008 his movie THE SKY CRAWLERS took the Future Film Festival Digital Award in Venice Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Lion Award.
More mangas and novels continue to spring up in relation to the film. A single-volume manga sequel, Blood: The Last Vampire 2000 written by Benkyo Tamaoki, was published in Japan in 2001 by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English by Viz Media in November 2002 with the title slightly modified to Blood: The Last Vampire 2002. Three Japanese light novel adaptations of the series have also been released, along with a video game.
In 2005, Sony and Production I.G announced the creation of BLOOD+, a 50-episode anime television series. Considered an alternate universe telling of BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE, it has only minor connections and similarities to the film. BLOOD+ premiered in Japan on October 8, 2005 on MBS/TBS and aired until September 23, 2006. In America, the series debuted on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on March 11, 2007 and is now available on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Gianna – Saya
Born in 1981, Korean actress Gianna is a celebrated artist over Asia. She is known by the name Jeon Ji-hyun at home and in her earlier movies, the most notable one being MY SASSY GIRL (2001) where she played a violent, hot-tempered girlfriend. She brilliantly proved to be someone by whom young men throughout Asia dreamed to be beaten up. This romantic comedy brought her the Best Actress Award at the Daejong Film Festival in 2002.
A majority of her films turned out to be the top-grossing Asian movies of the time, including WINDSTRUCK and IL MARE, the latter of which was adapted by Alejandro Agresti into THE LAKE HOUSE, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Gianna’s youthful beauty makes her a much-sought spokesperson for many consumer products. BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE shows off yet another side of Gianna – an emerging action star. She performs most of the stunts herself which are highly demanding even for male actors.
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2008)
IF I WERE SUPERMAN (2008)
MY SASSY GIRL (2001)
IL MARE (2000)
WHITE VALENTINE (1999)
Allison Miller – Alice McKee
Allison Miller has appeared in popular TV drama series including COLD CASE (2006), CSI:NY (2006), DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (2006), as well as KINGS which premiered in March 2009.
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE is Miller’s first feature film. She can be currently seen opposite Zac Efron in the comedy 17 AGAIN, directed by award-winning screenwriter Burr Steers.
Liam Cunningham – Michael
Irish actor Liam Cunningham was an electrician in the mid 80s. By chance, he saw an advertisement for an acting school and decided to give it a try. His first film role was as a policeman in INTO THE WEST (1992). Since then, he has been involved in many films and theater productions on both sides of the Atlantic. Cunningham has twice won a Best Actor award from the Irish Film and Television Awards for his performances in HUNGER (2008) and THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY (2006), and was named one of the top five Irish actors of the Millennium in a poll conducted by the Ireland Film and Television Network.
JJ Feild – Luke
Born in Colorado, JJ Feild moved to the United Kingdom as an infant and started acting when he was in college. Since graduating from drama school, he has appeared in several films and a variety of television roles. He can be seen playing the role of Simon Doyle in the television series POIROT, and has also appeared in NORTHANGER ABBEY alongside Felicity Jones as well as the televised version of THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE alongside Billie Piper. He made his theatrical debut in RING AROUND THE MOON in 2008.
Yasuaki Kurata – Kato Takatora
Born in 1946, Yasukai Kurata made his film debut in 1970 with ANGRY GUEST, a Hong Kong action movie with several dangerous stunts. He became a famous Asian kung-fu action star at the same time as Bruce Lee, and the two actors became close friends. Once, Kurata gave a pair of nunchucks to Bruce Lee, which Lee used in his movies making the weapon famous throughout the world.
To date, Kurata has appeared in more than 100 movies in Asia, with martial arts movies being the majority, and he is known by his nickname “Japanese Dragon” throughout the world.
Koyuki – Onigen
Koyuki is a Japanese model and actress born in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. She started her modeling career in 1995, and has since starred in many Japanese dramas, television and films. In 2006, she was nominated as Best Actress at the Japanese Academy Awards with ALWAYS – SUNSET ON THE THIRD STREET.
She frequently appears in Japanese print and television commercials. Her first international film was THE LAST SAMURAI (2003) where she played Taka, the wife of a Samurai slain by the character played by Tom Cruise. She recently starred in Yochi Sai’s upcoming film KAMUI, another action movie adapted from a comic.
KAMUI (2009) (in post production)
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2008)
ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET 2 (2007)
GENGHIS KHAN: TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH AND SEA (2007)
ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET (2005)
THE LAST SAMURAI (2003)
Chris Nahon – Director
Chris Nahon is a noted French commercial and music video director. He was born in Soisy sous Montmorency, France. At the age of 15, he left home to attend art school in Paris. At 19, Nahon directed his first short film, shot on 35mm. Two years later, he produced his second short.
At age 25, Nahon started his own production company, V.A.M.O.S., producing and directing commercials, videos and short films. Later, V.A.M.O.S. focused on post-production work while Nahon continued to direct commercials for other production companies.
At age 30, Nahon wrote a feature film and slowed down the activities of his company. After directing another short film, he decided to devote his energies to feature film directing. A short time later, he got a call from Luc Besson to direct KISS OF THE DRAGON. He also wrote SKATE OR DIE as a screenwriter in 2006, which was shot in 2007 and released in France in June 2008.
Filmography as Director:
CHASING THE DRAGON (2009)
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2008)
EMPIRE OF WOLVES (2005)
KISS OF THE DRAGON (2001)
Bill Kong – Producer
Bill Kong is an Academy Award nominee, and won BAFTA and Independent Spirit Awards as producer of Ang Lee’s martial arts epic, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, which won 4 Academy Awards and 2 Golden Globe Awards. From there, Kong has worked with many acclaimed directors to produce global hits and such all time martial arts favorites including Zhang Yimou-directed, Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated HERO, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER and FEARLESS. His recent works include the international blockbuster LUST, CAUTION by Ang Lee.
Filmography as Producer:
LUST, CAUTION (2007)
CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (2006)
RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES (2005)
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (2004)
SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN (2002)
ZHOU YU’S TRAIN (2002)
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000)
THE DAY THE SUN TURNED COLD (1994)
BLUE KITE (1993)
Abel Nahmias – Producer
From 1994 to 2002, Abel Nahmias worked for the French film company Pathé, where he was involved in every aspect of the film business. Most notably, he is the person who has put together the anime portfolio of Pathé – which comprises more than 100 titles including mega hits such as AKIRA and GHOST IN THE SHELL.
In 2002, Nahmias created a joint venture with Pathé : SAJ. This is where he developed and produced some of the highest-grossing titles in France and overseas including — LA BEUZE (2002), 11 COMMANDMENTS (2004), OUT OF CONTROL (2006) and CINEMAN (2007).
Chris Chow – Screenwriter
Born in China, raised in Hong Kong and educated in the United States, Chris Chow is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Southern California’s Film and TV Production MFA Program in 1998. Since then, he has worked actively as a director and screenwriter in both the U.S. and China. Chow has penned more than ten screenplays, including Jet Li’s FEARLESS (2006) and STRAWBERRY CLIFF out later this year, both of which he also directed. Chow is also a published author of three stage plays. Being proficient in both English and Chinese, he writes screenplays in both languages.
Corey Yuen – Action Director
Corey Yuen attended the China Drama Academy with kung-fu superstars Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, spending years training under harsh discipline. Yuen is now among the top action directors in Asia and Hollywood, a prolific movie director and actor. In 1986, he brought Hong Kong style action to international cinema with NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. In 1993, he began a close working relationship with Jet Li, working on both the FONG SAI YUK series and Li’s first Hollywood films including – LETHAL WEAPON 4, ROMEO MUST DIE and THE ONE. Yuen’s brilliant action design won him the Golden Horse Award for Jackie Chan’s THUNDERBOLT (1995) and FONG SAI YUK (1993) which he also directed. FONG SAI YUK also garnered Best Action Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Selected Filmography as Action Director /Choreographer:
RED CLIFF (2008)
ROGUE ASSASSIN (2007)
A CHINESE TALL STORY (2005)
TWINS EFFECT 2 (2004)
THE ONE (2001)
KISS OF THE DRAGON (2001)
ROMEO MUST DIE (2000)
LETHAL WEAPON 4 (1998)
THE NEW LEGEND OF SHAOLIN (1994)
FONG SAI YUK II (1993)
FONG SAI YUK (1993)
NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER (1986)
HEART OF DRAGON (1985)
Selected Filmography as Director:
DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE (2006)
TWINS EFFECT 2 (2004)
LE TRANSPORTEUR (2002)
SO CLOSE (2002)
IN THE LINE OF DUTY 2 (1985)
NINJA IN THE DRAGON’S DEN (1982)
Poon Hang Sang, HKSC – Director of Photography
Poon Hang Sang is one of the top cinematographers in Hong Kong and Greater China. He is a two-time winner of Best Cinematography at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his work in THE ISLAND (1985) and Stanley Kwan’s CENTER STAGE (1992). He has received nominations for nine other of his movies including Tony Ching Siu-tung’s A CHINESE GHOST STORY (1987), Yim Ho’s RED DUST (1990), HOMECOMING (1984) and Hark Tsui’s PEKING OPERA BLUES (1986).
KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004)
ENTER THE PHOENIX (2004)
A WEST LAKE MOMENT (2004)
TWENTY SOMETHING TAIPEI (2002)
THE LEGEND OF ZU (2001)
PAVILION OF WOMEN (2001)
PURPLE STORM (1999)
WHO AM I? (1998)
SHANGHAI GRAND (1996)
A CHINESE ODYSSEY PART ONE: PANDORA’S BOX (1994)
CRIME STORY (1993)
THE HEROIC TRIO (1993)
CENTER STAGE (1992)
RED DUST (1990)
A CHINESE GHOST STORY (1987)
PEKING OPERA BLUES (1986)
THE ISLAND (1985)
Nathan Amondson – Production Designer
Nathan Amondson collaborated with German director Wim Wenders as production designer on several of his feature films, including LAND OF PLENTY (2004) and DON’T COME KNOCKING (2006). With the latter movie, Amondson was nominated for Best Production Design at the 2006 German Film Awards. He also worked as a storyboard artist, and had a brief acting job in India as the villain of a Hindi soap opera.
Marco Cave – Editor
Marco Cave began his career as an editor in 1978, and, in recently years has worked closely with Chris Nahon and Abel Nahmias on KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE DOPE, 11 COMMANDMENTS and THE EMPIRE OF WOLVES. In addition, Cave has also worked as a sound editor on films and TV.
Constanza Balduzzi / Shandy Lui Fung-shan – Costume Designers
Constanza Balduzzi is an established costume designer in Argentina, and has participated in a number of acclaimed Argentine movies such as QUIEN DICE QUE ES FACIL (2007) and NO SOS VOS, SOY YO (2004). She was nominated for Best Costume Design at the Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards for her work in EL RATON PEREZ (2006), which won the Goya Award for Best Animated film.
Shandy Lui Fung-shan is experienced in both production design and costume design. Her costume design credits include TASK FORCE (1997), MR NICE GUY (1997) starring Jackie Chan, Stanley Kwan’s EVERLASTING REGRET (2005), Ang Lee’s LUST, CAUTION (2007), and RULE NUMBER 1 (2008).
Clint Mansell – Composer
Clint Mansell is a Golden Globe nominee for Best Original Score in THE FOUNTAIN (2006), which also won him the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards and other honors around the world. His other credits include REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000), MURDER BY NUMBERS (2002), and, most recently, the Golden Globe winner THE WRESTLER (2008).
© East Wing Holdings Corp. and SAJ are authors of this film for the purpose of all copyright and other laws. All rights reserved.
Dolby SR/SRD/DTS, in selected theaters
In English dialogue, with small amounts of Japanese dialogue
For more information, videos, and images from BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE, please see the previous coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- First Look at BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE UK Trailer
- New BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE UK Theatrical Poster
- Opening Scene from BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE