A Paprika live-action series is in the works at Amazon Studios and Hivemind. Cathy Yan, best known for directing Warner Bros and DC’s Birds of Prey, will serve as the executive producer and director. Based on the 1993 novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, the plot involves the theft of a machine that can allow users to enter people’s dreams.
Paprika was originally adapted into the well-known 2006 anime film from the late director Satoshi Kon. The plot revolves around Dr. Atsuko Chiba, who must retrieve a stolen machine that lets users enter each other’s dreams. Knowing the serious psychological damage this could cause, Atsuko embarks on a rescue and retrieval effort through the dreamscape. Kon’s adaptation is regarded as one of the best anime films of all time.
The baseline for Tsutsui’s novel was cited as one of the major inspirations for Hollywood filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s own mind-bending action film, Inception, which also revolved around a machine that let professional thieves break into people’s dreams.
According to the report by Deadline, Amazon has yet to provide a comment or official announcement on this, so take it with a pinch of salt. However, the entertainment website is a credible source of information and it’s likely that Amazon Studios is quietly planning the series adaptation of Paprika behind the scenes.
Very little information is known about the project other than Yan’s involvement, though she will be joined by producing partner Ash Sarohia, Masi Oka and Hivemind’s Jason F. Brown.
The plot description of the anime film provided by MyAnimeList reads:
“The world of dreams can be an incredible window into the psyche, showing one’s deepest desires, aspirations, and repressed memories. One hopeful tech lab has been developing the ‘DC Mini,’ a device with the power to delve into the dreams of others. Atsuko Chiba and Kosaku Tokita have been tirelessly working to develop this technology with the hopes of using it to deeply explore patients’ minds and help cure them of their psychological disorders.
However, having access to the deepest corners of a person’s mind comes with a tremendous responsibility. In the wrong hands, the DC Mini could be used as a form of psychological terrorism and cause mental breakdowns in the minds of targets. When this technology is stolen and people around them start acting strangely, Atsuko and Kosaku know they have a serious problem on their hands. Enlisting the help of Officer Konakawa, who has been receiving this experimental therapy, they search both the real and dream worlds for their mental terrorist.”
Paprika is currently in development at Amazon Studios and Hivemind.