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Negima!
Directed by David Fincher
Produced by Gale Anne Hurd
Written by Screenplay:
Emma Watson
Gale Anne Hurd
Story:
Ken Akamatsu
Gale Anne Hurd
Starring Emma Watson
Labon Hester
Miyuu Sawai
Daveigh Chase
Courtnee Draper
Aracely Arambula
Sienna Miller
Alexa Vega
Ayaka Komatsu
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Thomas Ackerman
Editing by Lee Smith
Studio Cinergi Pictures
SpyGlass Entertainment
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Cinergi Pictures
Release date(s) Japan:
November 24 2006
United Kingdom:
November 26 2006
North America:
December 25 2006
Running time 180 min.
Country Japan
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Spanish
Followed by Negima!

Negima! is a 2006 American romantic dramady directed by David Fincher. It stars Emma Watson as Asuna Kagurazaka and Labon Hester as Negi Springfield, along with Miyuu Sawai, Daveigh Chase, Courtnee Draper, Aracely Arambula, Sienna Miller, Alexa Vega, and Ayaka Komatsu.

The film started as a 3-D film idea by Andrew G. Vajna during the early days of Carolco Pictures. Vajna took the idea with him to Cinergi Pictures when founding it, and Caravan Pictures joined in. After both companies went under, though, the project was in development hell for a few years until Cinergi was brought back as a subsidiary of C2 Pictures. By then, SpyGlass Entertainment was involved. Throughout production, not counting Walt Disney Pictures, only one company stuck with the project from its inception: Pacific Western Productions, headed by Gale Anne Hurd.

CastEdit

Other cast members include Liam Neeson as the Magus, Silas Carson as Konoemon Konoe, Dean of Mahora Academy, Diane Stilwell as Shizuna Minamoto, Georgie Henley as Evangeline A.K. McDowell, Victoria Hester as Anya, Anna Popplewell as Nekane Springfield, Ashley Tisdale as Eiko, and Edward Speleers as the Southern Master. Kay Panabaker, Rupert Grint, and Lindsay Lohan appear as 2-A's resident cheerleading squad.

Doblaje en MexicoEdit

In alphabetical order

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

ProductionEdit

The Girl Who Would Become a TeacherEdit

Main article: The Girl Who Would Become a Teacher

In 1981, after attending a screening of Comin' At Ya!, Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna had different ideas on what their first original 3-D production would be. Kassar's project was a James Bond-esque teen film called Operation High School, which would eventually become Amazing Agent Luna. Vajna's project was a fantasy film called The Girl Who Would Become a Teacher. Pacific Western Productions, led by Gale Anne Hurd, helped with both projects, and both Kassar and Vajna turned to Disney to distribute the completed productions.

The project didn't go past the story phase until 1986, when Hurd left a cinema playing Eye of the Tiger. She liked how a young girl by the name of Judith Barsi portrayed Gary Busey's daughter and wrote a screenplay with her in mind for the lead. Several scenes were shot for a trailer before director James Cameron decided to concentrate on The Abyss. Cameron was intending on filming the rest of the scenes as soon as filming on The Abyss wrapped. Sadly, that was not to be, as in 1988, Barsi's career (and life) came to an ignominious end at the hands of her father, who then proceeded to commit suicide. As a result, the project went into development hell until Hurd revised the story. By then, Vajna had split from Carolco. (This initial version resurfaced when Emma Watson discovered the footage and screenplay in the Disney vaults while editing the final version of the then-newly-completed project for a PG-13 rating; unfilmed scenes were reconstructed using convincing CGI and voice acting, and the film was released separately on Betamax and VHS and together with the feature it evolved into on disc 2 of the DVD and BluRay.)

DevelopmentEdit

Vajna returned in 1992 with a new company, Cinergi Pictures, and so distribution of the film bounced to Disney's rookie subsidiary, Hollywood Pictures. The first draft of the screenplay based on the new story was completed in September of that year, and Edward Furlong was chosen to portray the lead character, named Negi T. Silverberg. Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst, respectively, were attached as Azuna Kagurazaka and Evangeline A.K. McDowell. In 1993, though, Cameron dropped Furlong and Barrymore, saying they were too old. Cameron himself left shortly afterwards as Caravan Pictures joined in, resulting in distribution swinging from Hollywood back to Disney. He was replaced by Stephen Herek, who in turn was jilted in 1996 when word came out that he was scouting England for a child actor to portray Negi (Cinergi and Caravan wanted an American actor for the role). He was replaced by Paul Verhoeven.

During Herek's time on the project, the part of Azuna was recast twice: first Christina Ricci, then Natalie Portman. In 1997 Dunst was jilted as Evangeline in favor of younger, then-unknown actress Hilary Duff, though she was just as quickly brought back as Azuna. Cinergi and Caravan actually approved of Verhoeven's decision to cast then-unknown British-American actor Rupert Grint as Negi, if only because he had just moved to America. However, the project quickly sunk back into development hell as Cinergi went under in 1998. Eventually, many of the people involved in the Verhoeven incarnation left the project, though Rupert would eventually return in 2003 to be cast as cheerleader Madoka Kugimiya. At that time, of the original team inved in the original incarnation, only Hurd (screenwriter-producer), Vajna (executive producer), Lalo Schifrin (composer), Mali Finn (casting director), Thomas Ackerman (director of photography), and Dennis Muren (visual effects) remained.

Emma Watson saved the day in 2001 when she, along with Hurd and Ken Akamatsu announced that they were working on a revised story for then-newly ressurrected Cinergi. Akamatsu and Hurd's story would later become a manga in 2003, with Akamatsu receiving full credit as he actually worked on the manga incarnation. It was when the manga was released that Emma announced that her screenplay would be based on the manga, which changed the characters' names (i.e. Negi T. Silverberg became Negi Springfield, and Azuna's first name was changed to Asuna) and reassigned roles to characters (i.e. Kozue Migara, who became Makie Sasaki, was relegated to a rhythmic gymnastics participant, while Konoka Konoe, originally a minor character, became Asuna's new best friend). However, Hurd's original revised idea was spun off as a novel written by Emma called Negima! From the Chronicles of Negi T. Silverberg and Three of His Students.

In 2005, the cast became secure. Emma had accepted the part of Asuna Kagurazaka, and the part of Negi Springfield had been handed over to Labon Hester. The first roles to be cast had been Yuna Akashi (Alexa Vega), the cheerleaders (Kay Panabaker, Rupert, and Lindsay Lohan), and Shizuna Minamoto (Diane Stilwell). Locations in Japan had been secured, so shooting would take place mostly in Japan during the summer of 2005. The only scene that wouldn't be shot in Japan was the opening scene, which was shot on location in Wales. At a press conference in May, one month before the shoot was to begin, Emma confirmed that both this film and Amazing Agent Luna would only be released in 3-D and that C2 Pictures would sue anyone involved in 2-D conversion of either film as well as any channel that would broadcast any 2-D version that was made. Emma also confirmed that David Fincher, who was tapped to direct the film, was aiming for a PG-13 rating unlike his predecesors, who were all aiming for an R rating.

FilmingEdit

The entire shoot was on location in Wales and Japan. The Wales scenes were shot first, with the main part of the shoot taking place in Japan. The Mahora scenes were filmed at a real life university in Japan, while the Spain scenes were shot at Leavesden Studios in the UK. The entirety of the shoot was in 3-D in order to ensure that a 2-D version wouldn't be leaked after the shoot finished. Emma purchased many Betamax tapes between June 2004 and June 2005 so that they could portray Asuna's Beta collection in certain shots of Asuna and Konoka's dorm room. Among the tapes were Death Wish, Comin' At Ya!, The Terminator, and Albino, all first prints.

DesignEdit

Fincher worked with Thomas Ackerman to design the look of Mahora Academy. The uniforms were designed by Julie Weiss to look just like the manga counterpart's uniforms. The tone was inspired by M*A*S*H. Fincher showed Ackerman a screening of M*A*S*H in order to make sure that the tone was similar.

Special effectsEdit

The CGI was done by Industrial Light and Magic, always referred to by Emma simply as "ILM" and the company that did the special effects for many of Emma's films, and Rhythm and Hues. ILM handled many of the 3-D effects that made use of CGI. Practical effects also came into play, especially when Negi casts spells on ordinary objects such as when Asuna was taking a shower after Negi had failed to help her deliver the papers faster by using his staff to transport them.

SoundtrackEdit

The soundtrack included pop, metal, country, and punk songs among other genres, though Lalo Schifrin's score was soft rock-influenced and had a '50s rock feel. This film marked the first where the score's guitar parts were recorded in their entirety by Emma, who used her Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. Emma also recorded the bass and synth parts, while Steven Adler handled the drums.

TriviaEdit

  • Demi Lovato makes a cameo in the opening scene, as one of the magic school graduates. She has no lines.

ReleaseEdit

See also: Negima! home video releases

The film premiered at Tokyo Dome using Real D equipment on October 31, 2006. The film premiered on November 24, 2006 in the UK, while the USA release was delayed by over a month due to the film receiving an R rating anyway. Emma took it upon herself to edit the film for a PG-13 rating, and it succeeded for the most part, with the film being rated PG-13 for sports violence, language and brief nudity. Among the scenes cut was the bathhouse scene. The film finally opened in the USA on Christmas Day, and due to popular demand, the unrated version of the film, with all deleted scenes restored, was released five months later. A trailer advertising the unrated "School's Out Edition" premiered before Pocket Monsters and was well received. The unrated version proved to be more successful than the PG-13 edit despite being only released in Real D. The film premiered on Betamax, VHS, and DVD during the 2007 holiday season and was available in "clean" (the PG-13 edit) and "explicit" (the School's Out Edition) version. The School's Out Edition's cover differed from that of the PG-13 edit in that a Parental Advisory label was on the front. The BluRay was released on December 25, 2008.

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