In a competitive situation, Searchlight Pictures has the rights to Rental Familya comedy-drama that has that Beef director Hikari attached to the helm.
Hikari also co-wrote the script with Stephen Blahut for the feature film project that will be produced by Eddie Vaisman and Julia Lebedev of Sight Unseen, the banner that counts films like Bad education under his credits. Hikari, who has been developing the film since 2019, is also producing alongside Shin Yamaguchi.
Family follows a down-and-out actor living in Tokyo who is hired as a token American for a Japanese family rental business, taking him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery through the roles he plays in other people’s lives.
Casting is currently underway, with Family will begin principal photography in Japan this spring. Release plans will be announced at a later date.
Blahut and Tomo Koiziu are executive producers.
Sight Unseen was behind A thousand and one, the drama starring Teyona Taylor that won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It was later released by Focus Features. The banner credits also include Bad hairthe horror thriller directed by Justin Simien.
Hikari comes out of the buzzy acclaim Beef, the Netflix drama starring Ali Wong and Steven Yeun. Hikari directed and produced the pilot and two other episodes of the show, which earned thirteen Emmy nominations earlier this year.
She also directed several episodes of Toyko Vicestarring Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuch, and made her feature film debut with 37 seconds, which she wrote, directed and produced. The drama was a festival favorite, winning the Audience Award and the CICAE Award at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, while also being nominated for Best First Feature Film.
Hikari is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.