(June 18, 2007 - Burbank, CA) — Warner Home Video (WHV) and Micott & Basara Inc, one of Japan’s leading content producers, announced today that WHV has secured the worldwide (excluding Japan) home video and television rights to the new Japanese Anime film "Appleseed: Ex Machina," produced by John Woo ("Mission: Impossible II," "Face/Off") and directed by Shinji Aramaki ("Appleseed," "Bubblegum Crisis"). The announcement was made by Jeff Brown, WHV Senior Vice President and General Manager, TV, Family and Animation and Miyake Sumiji, Executive Producer of "Appleseed: Ex Machina" and President of Micott & Basara. WHV will be distributing the highly anticipated 3DCG production in an array of home video formats and broadcast configurations. Currently finishing production, "Appleseed: Ex Machina" is based on the popular science fiction manga by Shirow Masamune ("Ghost in the Shell"). Directing the film is Shinji Aramaki ("Appleseed; 2004"), with Digital Frontier Inc. programming the pixels. The first volume of Shirow’s "Appleseed" manga debuted in 1985, with volumes 2-4 being through 1989. Well-known for blending cyber punk sensibility with cinematic mecha action, Shirow artfully laces socio-political themes with fan-friendly genre elements, making his characters complex individuals living a fully realized world. Tokyo-based Digital Frontier is producing the film in native HD using a mix of motion caption techniques and next generation 3DCG. Acclaimed filmmaker John Woo joins the filmmaking team as creative producer, working with long-time producing partner Terence Chang and their Lion Rock Productions team. “A couple of years ago I attended a screening [of "Appleseed"] and I was really amazed,” recalls Woo. “I could see that Aramaki was a very talented director. I was glad to become involved with 'Ex Machina'; I really wanted to learn about this new style of animation.” For Shinji Aramaki, working with the man who transformed modern action cinema was a delight. “John’s input was remarkable. Our working sessions were more productive than I could have ever anticipated. I like to think we have opened new doors together.” “With Shirow's distinctive cyberpunk vision and the creative directions of John Woo and Shinji Aramaki, 'Appleseed: Ex Machina' takes the burgeoning CG-anime experience to new heights. It is bound to become a new classic, joining the company of such precursors as 'Advent Children,' 'Akira and Ghost in the Shell,'” said Brown. “Warner Home Video will be a major player in the anime genre with this release, adding to our previous success with 'The Animatrix.'” Miyake Sumiji stated, "I am very proud that we were able to produce this film with John Woo; our collaboration was wonderful and we're confident the final results will reflect that. At the same time, we are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the world's leading home video company, Warner Home Video. We believe that 3DCG can change the world's understanding of animation, and WHV is the best organization to bring this amazing film to the world." Enormously popular, "Appleseed" (2004) was released in 30 countries and sold several hundred thousand DVDs in the U.S. "Appleseed: Ex Machina" represents the next step in the evolution of Japanese anime, which continues to grow in popularity in the US and around the world. Though set in writer and artist Masamune Shirow's unique, futuristic world of Appleseed, the new film is not a direct sequel to the "Appleseed" (2004) film that first brought the Aramaki, Micott & Basara, and Digital Frontier team together. The visual style of the upcoming film is more refined and sophisticated, and fans can look forward to a fresh start with familiar characters in a compelling new adventure. "Appleseed: Ex Machina" is slated for a 2008 release and will be presented in an incredible high definition format disc, as well as standard definition DVD. A 2-disc collectors set – containing extra bonus materials – will also be released simultaneously. SYNOPSIS Following the non-nuclear war that killed half the world’s population, the city-nation of OLYMPUS stands as a beacon of hope in a world of chaos and conflict. The utopian metropolis is governed by GAIA, a vast artificial intelligence, and administered by artificially-created humans known as Bioroids. These beings have altered DNA designed to suppress strong emotions, thus acting as a “buffer” for the more emotionally-charged human population. With Bioroids comprising half of its citizenry, peace and order in Olympus are easily maintained. DEUNAN, a young female warrior, and BRIAREOS, a veteran cyborg-soldier, are both partners and lovers. As members of ESWAT, the elite special forces serving Olympus, they are deployed wherever trouble strikes. The two fighters find their partnership tested in a unique way by the arrival of ESWAT’s newest member: an experimental Bioroid named TEREUS. Created using DNA from Briareos, Tereus resembles Briareos before the combat injuries that led to his becoming a cyborg. Not only does this trouble Deunan, but Briareos’s DNA gives Tereus more than just top-notch fighting skills — he also has strong feelings for Deunan! As the same time, Olympus finds itself violently attacked by a mysterious force intent on imposing its own version of “world peace.” Cyborg terrorism, deadly nanotech, fanatical zealots, a rioting populace, and two ardent lovers are just some of the situations that Deunan must contend with as she fights to save mankind from plunging into a new kind of hell. With operations in 90 international territories Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.
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