Imagi animation studios is not only producing CGI fare. Producer Thomas Gray has also tapped the company’s resources to make a "Highlander" sequel, in the Japanese anime style.
"This was an experimental project," said Gray. "We owned at one point Madhouse in Japan, which is not the top tier but it’s in the second tier level of anime houses. And we wanted to do a project that’s taking a western iconic project and do it in the anime process. It wasn’t easy because the Japanese in anime, the director is the director. There is no producer coming and giving notes. He gets up in the morning, he goes there and this is the way the movie’s going to go. They don’t follow conventional storylines of beginning, middle and end. It’s really whatever they feel like. But with [director Yoshiaki] Kawajiri, we were able to get him to tell the story in a more traditional western way."
The story won’t be a break from the story continuity of the "Highlander" films or TV shows, if you can even consider that continuity. It takes the McLeod family back into history. "It’s a time travel back. It has all the characteristics of the "Highlander" series but kind of wrapped up in Kawajiri’s mind of how his interpretation of how "Highlander" would be. [There are] a lot of similarities between samurai and Highlander, the clans and the swords and everything else. I mean, it was really difficult because of translation and if we pull it off, we’ll look at other projects that we want to do but the company wants to push it."
"Highlander: Vengeance" is going to debut on DVD in May. "It was a bit of a trial of getting this thing done but it turned out really interesting, designed totally for the DVD market. We had no theatrical ambitions other than in Europe we’ll go, in France and a few other places. It was our attempt to try to take a hybrid so to speak and see if we could pull it off. We’re out there now and the results have been pretty interesting."