Paprika live-action movie planned by Amazon Studios based on Japanese novel/anime

Fan art for Paprika anime.
Fan art for Paprika anime. Pic credit: Pinterest/Mubi.com

On August 22, 2022, entertainment industry news website Deadline reported that Yasutaka Tsutsui’s novel Paprika, which has inspired an anime 2006 film, is now inspiring a live-action TV series adaptation by Amazon Studios and Hivemind.

Birds of Prey and Dead Pigs director, Cathy Yan, will be both the executive producer and director of the film. Acting as assistant executive producers are: Ash Sarohia (Rewild), Masi Oka, and Jason F. Brown (Hivemind).

I think it’s inspiring to have role models. When I was growing up there were very few Asian-Americans directing movies in Hollywood, and less that were women like me. If seeing me as a director helps to inspire women or if it shows someone a different perspective on the stories I’m bringing to life on the big screen, that’s amazing and I feel humbled to be a part of that.

Cathy Yan commented at Deadline News

Paprika is a 2006 Japanese anime sci-fi psychological thriller film directed by Satoshi Kon. The film was inspired by Yasutaka Tsutsui’s 1993 novel of the same name. Paprika was Kon’s fourth and final feature before his untimely death in 2010 and is his greatest legacy.

You can watch a trailer for the Paprika 2006 anime film on Sony Pictures Entertainment’s YouTube channel here:

PAPRIKA [2007] - Official Trailer (HD)
Paprika anime film trailer.

Who are the members of the production team?

Paprika production team members include:

  • Director – Satoshi Kon
  • Scriptwriters – Satoshi Kon and Seishi Minakami (Paranoia Agent)
  • Character designer and animation director – Masashi Ando (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Your Name)
  • Music composer – Susumu Hirasawa
  • Art director – Nobutaka Ike
  • Animation – Studio Madhouse
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What is the plot of Paprika?

The story is set in a futuristic Japan where people are able to view people’s dreams by using a device called the “DC Mini”. Unfortunately, a dream terrorist steals the device and causes nightmares for people. Doctor Atsuko Chiba, who is the head of the team working on the DC Mini, decides to illegally use the machine in order to help psychiatric patients outside the research facility. In order to keep her identity a secret she assumes the alter ego Paprika in the dream world.

Working a “dream detective” Paprika begins to investigate the cases where people are plagued by nightmares unnaturally. Aiding her in her quest are the chief of the department, Doctor Torataro Shima, and the inventor of the DC Mini, Doctor Kosaku Tokita.

Detective Toshimi Konakawa, is plagued by a recurring dream, and receives counsel from Paprika. She gives Konakawa a card with the name of a website on it. The DC Minis are unfinished prototypes and lack access restrictions, which means if they are stolen anyone can enter another person’s dreams. This poses a grave security risk.

When Doctor Shima suddenly has a nervous breakdown and jumps through a window he nearly kills himself. Tokita decides to examine the records of Shima’s dream and watches a parade of random objects and the appearance of his assistant, Kei Himuro. Tokita deduces Kei must be behind the theft of the DC Mini. Two other scientists fall victim to the DC Mini and the company’s chairman, Doctor Seijiro Inui decides to ban use of the device.

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The crazed parade, which exists within Himuro’s mind, claims Tokita’s life next. Paprika continues her investigation and discovers Himuro has become an empty shell. The real culprit turns out to be Inui who has the crazed delusion that he must protect dreams from humankind’s influence through “dream therapy” along with the help of Doctor Morio Osanai.

Will Paprika be able to defeat Inui and Osanai? You’ll have to watch the anime film Paprika to find out! Paprika is currently available for streaming on Prime Video, Vudu and AppleTV+.

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