The original manga series that has sold over 14 million copies and has inspired TV anime, OVAs and manga spinoffs has already finished production and will open in Japan on April 29, during the Golden Week holidays.
Having secured a rather large budget, the film entails an ensemble cast including Hideaki Itō (Princess Blade, Lesson of the Evil) in the lead role of Shōkichi Komachi, Emi Takei (Rurouni Kenshin) as Nanao Akita, Takayuki Yamada, Shun Oguri, Rinko Kikuchi and Eiko Koike.
The pre-production for the film took two years, and filming began in mid-May. Filming then moved in August to Iceland. It was the first time that a Japanese film is shot on location there.
The non-Japanese team members in the original manga have had their names and part of their characters changed. For example, the Thai character Thien is now Jin Mutō, as played by former NEWS band member Tomohisa Yamashita (a.k.a. “Yamapi” from Kurosagi, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Ashita no Joe).
The script of the film goes like this: In the late 26th century, overpopulation on Earth is reaching the breaking point, and humanity must find new frontiers. The terraforming of Mars has taken centuries, but is now complete. The colonization of Mars by humanity is an epoch-making event, but an unintended side effect of the terraforming process unleashes a horror no one could ever have imagined…
After humanity’s first manned mission to the Red Planet was lost, a second expedition arrives. The explorers prepare to exterminate the cockroaches that were used to transform the Martian environment. They are shocked to discover that the insects have mutated into giant, aggressive humanoids with one overriding goal: exterminate the humans! But this crew of explorers has each undergone the “Bugs Procedure,” terrifying experimental surgery designed to make them more than human.