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‘Among The Dead’: Yoshimoto Kogyo People Of Culture On Zombie Film

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U.S.-based People of Culture Studios (PoC Studios) has entered into a co-production and co-financing venture with major Japanese talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo that will see the two companies produce “Among the Dead,” a zombie mockumentary film.

“Among The Dead” is a found footage title written by comic book creator, film producer, and screenwriter Andrew Cosby (“Hellboy,” “2 Guns” “Eureka”), who also serves as PoC’s chief creative officer, with Patrick Hasson and Juan Carlos Saizarbitoria. Executive producers are PoC founder Labid Aziz and Mike Ikeda.

Its story is set as the world finds its equilibrium after an undead apocalypse. One emotionally unstable man abandons his friends and family to go live among the last remaining zombies before they are all gone. He hopes to better understand the zombies and document their final days, but his efforts become a document of his final days instead.

Production is by Cosby and Wada Ryoichi, a Japanese theatre director whose stage play “Ghost in the Box” may have been the inspiration for cult hit indie film “One Cut of the Dead,” directed by Ueda Shinichiro. Wada was initially uncredited and accused Ueda of plagiarism before the pair settled their differences and Wada was credited as co-creator. “One Cut of the Dead” was also the basis for “Final Cut,” the Michel Hazanavicius’ picture that was the opening title at the Cannes festival this year. Both Wada and Ueda were credited on “Final Cut” with creating the original story.

“Among the Dead” is the second project to pair Wada and PoC. Earlier this year they signed a deal to develop and produce an original animated series “Ninja Masx,” which is a futuristic genre-bending mashup of ninja lore, apocalyptic genre, music, dance and dynamic anime action, based on an original manga concept by Wada. It is structured as a co-production between PoC Studios, NorthStar Thailand Studio and Wada’s company Hairu Entertainment.

Founded in 1912, Yoshimoto Kogyo is one of Japan’s oldest and largest entertainment conglomerates. It boasts a roster of around 6,000 performers and is especially known for representing comedy talent. It also operates major theaters, and television recording studios.

“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,” said Cosby.

Among PoC’s initial slate is the film (and subsequent TV series) “Tokyo Under Night, which was written by Ron Bass (“Rain Man”) and is currently out to talent; a “Japanese Casablanca”; and “Yasuke: Soul of a Samurai,” that tells the true story of an enslaved African man in late 1500s feudal Japan.

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