It’s official – a live-action Gyakuten Saiban (that is, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) movie is in the works.  Really.

Rumors about an Ace Attorney movie started about a week ago, when director Takashi Miike spoke of his next film in an interview for The Huffington Post, saying:

"It is a very light comedy that I am filming now, a court drama, based on a video game, the Nintendo game DS."

Aaand of course the fans (myself included) went wild, because, you know, there are only so many Nintendo DS games involving court cases.  Shortly after Takashi Miike’s interview, the film was officially announced, much to my excitement.

So… who’s gonna be in it?  Where are they filming?  What’s the story?  We’ve got answers.  Sort of.

First things first – the cast.  So far, we’ve got three cast members that we know of for sure:

Hiroki Narimiya (成宮寛貴) as Phoenix Wright

Mirei Kiritani (桐谷美玲) as Maya Fey

Takumi Saitou (斎藤工) as Miles Edgeworth

My knowledge of Japanese actors is limited (read: nonexistent), so I really don’t know anything about these guys.  What I can say is that they all seem to look the part, which is definitely a good thing.

As far as other cast members go, it seems likely that Nakao Akiyoshi will be playing Larry, seeing as he posted a picture of these shoes that bear a striking resemblance to Larry’s on his blog:

They certainly look dorky enough to be Larry shoes…

So... Nakao Akiyoshi (中尾明慶) as Larry Butz?

Okay, on to other news.  Filming has seemingly already begun, and some set photos have already turned up on the web.  For starters, there are some set pics (I think they’re from Kyoto?) that seem to be showing Lake Gourd, the Samurai Dogs stand, and the boat rental shack [all set photos courtesy of JapanesGIRL over at the Court Records forum]:

Lake Gourd?

Samurai Dog stand?

Note the Steel Samurai picture.

Boat rental shack?

If those photos are depicting what I think they are, then it seems that the movie is going to focus mainly on the Turnabout Goodbyes section of the first game.  That kind of makes sense, seeing as that's the case with the most story to it, and it's long enough to take up a good chunk of the movie (if not all of it).  They'll still probably need to briefly cover the first few cases in some way or another, though, seeing as they provide a somewhat necessary intro.

These next few photos were taken at Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校), which makes me think they're from the classroom trial scene, which they'll need to include if they're focusing on Turnabout Goodbyes.  But then, if these are from the classroom trial flashback... then what's with that guy who looks like Gumshoe?  Gumshoe isn't in the classroom trial... Maybe these are court scenes?

Do I spy Gummy?

This is seriously the fanciest elementary school I've ever seen...

...And that's all for the set photos. 

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this movie.  I think I'd prefer an anime to a movie when it comes to the Ace Attorney series.  Everything about the games is just so comical and over the top that I'm kind of worried about how well it'll translate to live action.  It could be... bad, to say the least.  As for Takashi Miike's directing of the movie, I don't really know what to think.  I'm kind of neutral towards it.  He's best known for ultra-violent movies (like Ichi the Killer), but this won't be the first time he's done a family-friendly film.  I haven't seen any of his more subdued movies, though, so I can't say how good he is at directing that sort of film.  Still, he's undoubtedly talented, so I'm not too worried.  All in all, I think I'll just try and stay optimistic about the movie for the time being.  Besides, it'll take my mind off Gyakuten Kenji 2 (localize it already, dammit!).

According to its official website, the film will be released in the spring of 2012.  No word on if it will get a US release yet, though I doubt it will.  If Capcom won't give us the latest game, we're definitely not getting a movie.  That being said, I'm sure we'll get a fansub shortly after the film's release, maybe, just maybe, a fandub.  
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