Wild Bunch, Gaga To Handle Sales Of Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s ‘Monster’

Japan’s Gaga Corporation and Wild Bunch International will collaborate again for international sales of “Monster,” the upcoming film directed by Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu.

Gaga will handle Asian territories. Wild Bunch will handle worldwide excluding Asia. A promo reel for buyers will be available at the upcoming European Film Market that operates alongside the Berlin Film Festival.

The two companies previously collaborated on Kore-eda’s 2011 title “I Wish,” which played at the Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals.

“Monster” seems more likely to debut at Cannes. Its theatrical release in Japan, through Toho and Gaga, is scheduled for June 2, shortly after the festival.

The film is scripted by Sakamoto Yuji (“We Made a Beautiful Bouquet”) and has a music score by Sakamoto Ryuichi. Production is by Kawamura Genki and Yamada Kenji, with corporate credits going to Toho, Gaga, Fuji Television Network, AOI Pro and Bun-Buku.

It stars Ando Sakura (“Shoplifters”), Nagayama Eita, Kurokawa Soya, Hiiragi Hinata and Tanaka Yuko.

Kore-eda lifted the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2018 with “Shoplifters.” Subsequently he has made two films abroad: the 2019 French film “The Truth” and the 2022 Korean film “Broker,” which also debuted last year on the Cannes competition. Neither did much business in Japan, in contrast to “Shoplifters,” which earned $33 million locally in 2018.  Though little has been divulged about its story, the new film, with two distribution powerhouses behind it, promises a return to the director’s earlier box office form.

Kore-eda also recently completed his first long-form series. “The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House” uploaded to Netflix in December. The series was based on the manga “Maiko-San Chi No Makanai-San” by Aiko Koyama (published in Weekly Shonen Sunday). Set in the Geiko district of Kyoto, the protagonist Kiyo becomes a cook at a house where apprentice Geikos live together. The story depicts the everyday lives of Kiyo and Sumire, her childhood friend who both travelled from Aomori to Kyoto with ambitions of becoming Maiko or courtesan-entertainers.

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