Netflix Teams With TBS Production Outfit The Seven To Boost Japanese Live-Action Slate

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix is entering into a strategic partnership with Japanese production company The Seven, owned by leading broadcaster TBS Holdings, which will produce multiple original live-action titles for the streamer over the next five years. 

TBS launched The Seven, headed by TBS Holdings board director Tatsuo Sugai, with investment of Yen30BN (US$205M) at the end of 2021 as part of its global expansion strategy. The partnership with Netflix will see the company develop and produce live-action shows that will premiere exclusively on the streamer across 190 countries. 

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Netflix has previously worked with The Seven’s head of development and production, Akira Morii, who was a producer on the streamer’s hit dystopian drama Alice In Borderland, as well as the company’s visual effects producer Tomofumi Akahane. 

Morii is also working with Netflix on live-action originals Zom 100: Bucket List Of The Dead and Yu Yu Hakusho. Akahane is also working on Yu Yu Hakusho and has credits including Assassination Classroom and The Confidence Man JP.

Notably, given the shortage of studio space in Japan, The Seven will also have access to TBS’ new studio lot of almost 1,000 square meters, located in Midoriyama Studio City, which is expected to be one of the largest and most advanced sound stages in Japan when completed early next year. 

“Streaming has been a game-changer in that these platforms increased opportunities for Japanese films and shows to be seen around the world,” said Morii, commenting on the deal. 

“The success of Alice In Borderland convinced us that stories from Japan can reach global audiences. At The Seven, we hope to tell amazing stories with an ever-evolving team by learning from, and working in tandem with, creators around the world as well as here in Japan.”

Kaata Sakamoto, Netflix, VP, Japan Content, added that the partnership would enable The Seven “to tell stories from Japan in new ways, unbound by traditional creative limitations. Our partnership gives them the scale in production and budget, the creative freedom, and the reach to share their ground-breaking showstoppers with the world.”

Netflix is launching a second season of Alice In Borderland in late December, as part of a fast-expanding live-action slate that also includes romantic drama First Love, launching on November 24; Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Makanai: Cooking For The Maiko House, streaming from January 2023; women’s wrestling series The Queen Of Villains; and manga adaptation Yu Yu Hakusho

Upcoming Japanese live-action films from the streamer include Zom 100: Bucket List Of The Dead and murder mystery In Love & Deep Water.

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