The live action adaptation of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, which is approaching its 30th anniversary, recently held its world premiere. The original manga has sold over one hundred million copies and the movie, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable, will be released in Japan on Friday 4 August.
In attendance at tne official premiere event were the director, Takashi Miike, and the lead actor, Kento Yamazaki. The film festival is located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland (30 June until 8 July) and is a famous film festival in Europe. The film was entered in the International Competition section and the results will be announced on 8 July. This year, the festival attended 300 reporters from nine countries including The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, and North America. Also, there were local fans cosplaying as characters from Jojo as well as people who watched the movie standing even though there were no more seats. The movie is drawing a lot of attention.
Before the screening in the venue that accommodates 500 people, Director Miike said, ‘I would be glad to enjoy it with all of you, seeing how you all like the film. The film already belongs to the viewers. I’m interested to see what kind of people went out of their way to come see the movie and I believe in all of those people who give us courage.’ It was Kento Yamazaki’s first film festival and he said nervously, ‘I am interested to see the reactions of international fans who watch Jojo and I am excited to watch it together with them. I would like everyone to enjoy Director Miike’s world of Jojo and the work that the amazing cast and staff have created.’
When Yamazaki and Director Miike first stood in front of fans, they were welcomed with loud cheers. Director Miike said, ’This morning, I woke up at the hotel and when I looked out the window there was no one there and I was very nervous about whether people would come to the event, but I am relieved that so many people came to see the film.’ About the fact that this was the first screening of the movie, he said, ‘The film has not yet been released even in Japan so everyone gathered here will be the first to see it and I am praying that you will enjoy it.’ Kento Yamazaki was then introduced by the director as ‘Jojo’ and was welcomed by the audience with great applause. Yamazaki waved and responded in French, ‘Good evening, I am Kento Yamazaki. I am very excited for everyone to see Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. I love all of you in Neuchâtel.’
Kento Yamazaki and Director Miike both watched the movie together with the local fans. After the screening, applause and voices of approval were heard from the audience, followed by a standing ovation. Seeing this, Director Miike and Yamazaki shook hands and Yamazaki seemed excited about his first film festival, answering the local fans’ cheers with a smile.
After that, the post-screening Q&A began without a drop in excitement. The local fans asked Yamazaki what was the most difficult thing about filming, ‘Bringing forth Stands and fighting with them.’ Hearing this, Director Miike joked, ‘There was a limit on what we could spend on CGI so we had him bring forth Stands using his own power.’ Upon being asked how he felt after having the audience watch the movie, Director Miike said, ‘People who know the manga well are also here so seeing their different reactions was fun. I am really glad that after watching the movie, everyone was smiling. The actual filming took place in the Spanish town of Sitges so even if you go to Japan you won’t be able to find the filming locations.’
The director was also asked why he decided to make a live action adaptation of Jojo and he replied, ‘For a long time, (the author of the manga, Hirohiko) Araki-sensei has been publishing his work and has sold over one hundred million copies. It was said that no one could make a live action adaptation and many people tried but no one was successful. But this time, the actor called Kento Yamazaki appeared and we gathered our courage and made the movie.’ When asked about a sequel, Director Miike said, ‘The sequel is dependent on all of you who have watched the movie telling the world how interesting it was.’
Yamazaki was then asked whether he had read the manga before the movie and he said, ‘Honestly, before my appearance in the movie was decided, I had never read it but now I have become a big fan (after reading the manga)!’ Next, he was asked about the character of Jojo and he said, ‘There is a part of me that really admires Jojo. He does a lot of things that I cannot do so I think he is a really cool character.’
When the MC announced that it was time for the final question, there were voices of disappointment from the crowd and regrettably, the event had to come to an end. Director Miike was asked of his impression of the event and he said, ‘I’m really tired but it was fun. The fact that they seriously watched and enjoyed the movie was clear.’ Yamazaki commented, ‘I am glad I was able to have a good experience. It is a different feeling from Japanese events but it was a good experience to have watched the movie with the fans here. I was happy about the standing ovation.’
The fans who watched the movie said, ‘It was my first time watching a movie by Director Miike. I am a big fan of Jojo and I like both the anime and the manga but the movie was very well done so I think it was great!’ A fan who didn’t know about the manga said, ‘I have never read the manga so I was very surprised. It was a great movie. The action, art, and the music were all very good. A wonderful movie’, and a female fan said ‘I watched the anime often but I am happy with how the movie turned out. The actors, music, and action were great and I loved them! I really like the movie!’ Also, in relation to the lead actor, Kento Yamazaki, fans said, ‘Things such as his angry expressions when he punches were very good. He did a very good job. I enjoyed it very much.’
The world premiere seemed to have been enjoyed by local fans and the event ended on a high note. The movie has been acknowledged by international fans and is sure to draw attention not just in Japan, but all over the world!