Feature Film

First Look: ‘Mutafukaz,’ A Studio 4°C and Ankama Co-Production

Based on Guillaume “Run” Renard’s comics, Mutafukaz is a hyperkinetic sci-fi dystopia arching between streetwise hip-hop and hyperviolent cinema. The project is a collaboration between Japan’s Studio 4°C (Mind Game, Tekkon Kinkreet) and French multimedia company Ankama, which publishes Run’s comic, but is perhaps better known for its MMORPG franchises like Wakfu and Dofus.

Directed by Renard himself alongside animation director Shoujirou Nishimi, with art direction from Steamboy’s Shinji Kimura, the profane Mutafukaz follows the supernaturally empowered pizza delivery man Angelino through the apocalyptic Dark Meat City as he dodges hallucinations, hitmen, and conspiracies. Its gangland paraoia and surreal futurism fit in well with previously arresting Studio 4°C projects like The Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knight, although how its racial politics translate to the polarized American public it yet to be decided.

That said, Mutafukaz “is one of the most famous comics in France,” said Titan Comics, which acquired Renard’s series for distribution later this year in America, Canada, and the UK. Meanwhile, Studio 4°C and Ankama’s animated adaptation doesn’t arrive onscreen until 2017 in France, giving us plenty of time to mull over Renard’s anime mashup.

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