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Sony and Blockade Entertainment are unveiling more details today about their “Heavenly Sword” film, an independent animated movie that will be released in 2014.
The film is based on the Heavenly Sword video game that launched with the debut of the PlayStation 3 video game console in 2007. Blockade Entertainment, a film studio that is also producing a film based on the Ratchet & Clank video game series, financed and produced the film, which uses computer-generated animated characters.
Brad Foxhoven, chief executive of Blockade Entertainment, said that the film started out with a very small budget, but it has screened well before audiences and its prospects are so good that Sony has lined up international distribution for the film. Sony scrapped a sequel to the game, but the character Nariko was popular enough to include her in Sony’s recent PlayStation All-Stars fighting game. News of the film leaked before, but Blockade is officially confirming the cast and releasing the trailer below today.
The film stars Anna Torv (known for the Fringe TV show) as the main sword-wielding character, Nariko; Alfred Molina as King Bohan; and Thomas Jane as Loki.
The film is a dramatic tale of revenge where Nariko, a “fiery red-haired heroine,” embarks on a quest for vengeance against the invading King Bohan and his army. She must wield a sword that once belonged to a powerful deity and avenge her clan before her life is overtaken by the power of the sword itself.
Foxhoven said the film began as a production experiment between Blockade and Sony. The aim was to use existing video game assets and development materials to produce a feature-length film. With production efficiencies, Blockade put more investment into the actual production of the film.
Developer Ninja Theory and Andy Serkis (who played Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” films) provided an extensive library of material to use in the film. The movie got a good reception at the Cannes Film Festival and Blockade parlayed that into a bigger budget and wider distribution.
Investors include Film Financial Services, a 28-year-old investment banking firm specializing in the international co-financing of feature films for Hollywood studios and independents. Another investor is Sansoo Ventures, a venture-capital based in Seoul.