Breaking News: Noir Live-Action Movie

June 18th, 2011

According to ANN, the anime Noir has gotten the go sign for a Live-Action Movie for the Starz Network.

My reaction – ambivalence. I dislike American rewrites of anime because the producers didn’t read/watch the original and don’t really care about the material. On the other hand, the development team is Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, creators of Xena: Warrior Princess. So, I gotta trust that they’ll give us the girls with guns on the run team that we deserve.

Also, I plan on writing them and telling them exactly what I expect from them. ^_^

I’m pretty sure I don’t have Starz, but if this actually gets made and trailers do not look like they suck, I will consider it. (Ambivalence, thy name is Erica)

So, part of me squeed at the news, and part of me groaned. Let’s see part which wins!

Thanks to YNN Correspondent Filo for the heads up!

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8 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    What are these American rewrites of anime? I know only about Dragon Ball Evolution (that I think was fair).

  2. @nonymous – I was referring to the (as yet unmade) Hollywood versions of Akira and Battle Angel Alita, which has already been rendered completely unlike their originals before even starting.

  3. Rynnec says:

    They’re making a Hollywood version of Battle Angel Alita? It could be because I’m unfamilar with the franchise, but that seems a little random a choice to make into a Hollywood adaptaion.

  4. BruceMcF says:

    AFAIU, Starz has an instant streaming deal with Netflix, so I am hoping that it’ll show up in my Netflix instant streaming.

  5. CFB says:


    In my haste, I believe that I inadvertently posted my previous comment on the live-action production of Noir to the wrong news item. (I made the ill-fated decision to open individual tabs to peruse recent comments pages; upon completing my own comment in Word, I obliviously clicked on the wrong one and then blithely cut, pasted, and “published.”) In any event, please reject/delete the previous comment (as well as this one!), and accept my profound embarrassment as partial penance for the inconvenience. ^_^’ Very sorry!!!

    I will resubmit the previous comment, hopefully this time in the correct place…

  6. CFB says:

    As an ardent fan of Noir, my reaction is similar: intense ambivalence. On the one hand, there are several factors that “should” work in this production’s favor, aside from being helmed by an experienced team. For instance, length: unlike movie adaptations of series, which frequently feel compressed as a result of truncating or omitting (by necessity) a decent amount of source material, Noir’s adaptation should be able to develop both its plot and its characters fairly organically over the course of 8 to 10 50+ minute episodes—the norm for a Starz season. (Let’s face it…even as a huge fan of the original, I would readily concede that Noir’s 650 minute run could have been reduced to 500 minutes without much loss. ^_^) Moreover, most premium channels tend to film their shows by season—i.e., a given season’s shooting finishes prior to its premier—which usually results in a slightly less desultory feeling than that of a basic cable program. This could certainly benefit Noir, which, although less meandering than, say, El Cazador, has received considerable flak for its pacing issues.

    On the other hand…well, pretty much all the generic criticisms of live-action adaptations (even Japanese) hold true: they tend to compress, distort, mangle, or otherwise bizarrely alter the source material, typically to the detriment of overall quality and the dissatisfaction of fans. Another concern is that many current TV shows, especially ones on premium channels like Starz, objectify women through gratuitous nudity—an excrescence eschewed in Noir. (Hey, Spartacus, you’re kind of fun, and Game of Thrones, you’re amazing, but do we really need THAT many breasts shoved in our faces? Seriously?) I’ve already seen several anticipatory Noir-related LFB comments that boil down to “Yay! More blood and boobies on the way!” Accordingly, I can only cringe at the thought of what might be done to the likes of my poor Mireille. -_-;

    Thus, for the moment, my sentiments are indeed trepidation and ambivalence.

    Thank you for all you do, Erica.


  7. Logan says:

    I think CFB has put down everything I wanted to say (and far more eloquently, I might add). In addition to that, I would like to say that I look forward to the American live-action as I’ve really got nothing else to look forward to watching this year. -_-;

    Also, I really like your blog, Erica. I don’t really keep up with what’s coming out in Yuri, or otherwise other interesting media, so it’s great that I can check up here every once in a while and find something new. ^_^

  8. CFB says:

    Please ignore the foolish hint of optimism expressed in my second comment above. Based upon the preliminary character descriptions floating around on casting sites such as (simply search for Noir), many of our fears seem to have been realized: “Ah…Let’s have Mireille be married, possibly with another (male) lover on the side.” “Hmmm…we definitely need to incorporate Nazis somehow.” “Yeah, Nazis. Everyone hates those bastards.” “Oh, and let’s not forget to include a CIA agent! We’ve gotta have at least one, of course.” “Let’s name him Smith…wait, MR. SMITH.” “Oh God, that’s GENIUS!!!” :P

    I swear, it almost sounds like a deliberate joke…a very, very bad joke. lol

    What I find most depressing about this initial information is that the writers of the live action adaptation seem instinctively inclined to adopt cliché elements and characters where none are necessary. Admittedly, it was always a long shot that the writers would remain particularly faithful to Tsukimura’s script. And, truthfully, a few of the modifications to the two main characters are not actually that unappealing. On some level, I feel I should be somewhat grateful that Mireille is still named “Mireille” and is a competent, beautiful French hit woman/assassin, and likewise that Kirika is still named “Kirika” and is a Japanese “human guided missile” who suffers from amnesia. Also, I think the live action writers deserve props for including the Soldats and for choosing to keep Paris as the primary locale…even if it’s set in the early 60’s. (Hence the Nazis in Mireille’s childhood, I suppose.)

    In short, based solely on the working character descriptions, the live action Noir sounds like it could be summarized as thus: “In Paris, beautiful French assassin Mireille helps unnaturally deadly Japanese amnesiac Kirika search for clues to her past…plus unnecessary additional characters, a vexing marriage, and trite relationships.” (The first half of this characterization brings a smile to my face, the second half not so much.)

    The tragedy is that I might have enjoyed this show, had it not been for the tyranny of my damned expectations.

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