FUNimation has made a pickup that was largely expected but welcome to see announced as they’ve picked up the rights to The Boy and the Beast. The film comes from director Mamoru Hosoda, who has gotten a good bit of attention overseas in the last few years with his film projects such as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars and more recently Wolf Children back in 2012. Bakemono no Ko is set to land on July 11th, 2015 in Japan and is being localised as The Boy and the Beast. The film is an original work for Hosoda and has been in development for quite some time. Hosoda is joined by Takaaki Yamashita and Tatsuzo Nishida as animation directors.
“We’re excited to bring ‘The Boy and the Beast’ to audiences across the United States,” said FUNimation CEO and founder Gen Fukunaga. “Mamoru Hosoda is a masterful director and has made Japanese animated film accessible to everyone.”
The feature is being talked about as a potential 216 Oscar contender and FUNimation will release in select theaters in late 2015 and nationwide in early 2016.
“We are looking forward to working with Gaumont Intl. and plan to release ‘The Boy and the Beast’ to theaters beginning in late 2015,” said Mike DuBoise, FUNimation’s exec VP and COO. “We’re confident that critics and moviegoers will quickly agree that this is an Oscar-worthy film.”
According to Variety, “Gaumont’s deputy head of sales Yohann Comte, said Gaumont had received offers from other distributors but “chose to work with FUNimation because the company has been faithful to Hosoda’s work since the beginning, and they also have the ambition and commitment to screen the film to the widest possible audience.””
Madman Entertainment previously picked up the Australian rights for the film.