Ultra Maniac
Directed by Francesco Rosi
Produced by Vittorio Cecchi Gori
Written by Screenplay:
Emma Watson
Wataru Yoshizumi
Starring Emma Watson
Carly McKillip
William Moseley
Daniel Radcliffe
Jordan Kilik
Skandar Keynes
Hilary Duff
Rachael Henley
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Thomas Ackerman
Editing by Ian Crafford
Studio Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures (worldwide)
Carolco Pictures (North America)
Medusa Film (Italy)
Release date(s) Italy:
February 29 2008
North America:
March 21 2008
United Kingdom:
March 27 2008
Running time 275 min.
Country Italy
United Kingdom
United States
Language Italian

Ultra Maniac is a 2008 family romantic comedy based on the manga by Wataru Yoshizumi, starring Emma Watson and Carly McKillip, directed by Francesco Rosi. The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica and was filmed entirely in 3-D.



See also: Ultra Maniac home video releases

The premiere took place at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in Barcelona, Spain on January 15, 2008. The film premiered in Italy and Spain on February 29, 2008, with the English-and-Spanish dub premiering on March 21 in the United States and Mexico and on March 27 in the United Kingdom. The film is rated PG for "sci-fi fantasy violence, language and mild alcohol consumption, all involving teens", and due to a character getting drunk (though implied), the wording for the PG rating used "pre-teenagers" in lieu of the more common "children". The film premiered on home video on July 22 from Carolco Home Video.


  • William Moseley was the first person to be cast.
  • The film went through New Line Cinema, United Artists, and Lions Gate Films for distribution before Disney and Vittorio Cecchi Gori settled on Carolco Pictures at the request of Carly McKillip, who threatened to quit the film unless Carolco distributed the film.
  • Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were offered the parts of Yuta Kirishima and Nina Sakura, respectively, but turned them down in favor of more mundane roles (Rupert chose to portray minor character Kohei Mikami, while Emma chose the part of Ayu Tateishi). Emma later said she would've gladly taken over the part of Nina if Carly McKillip quit the film.
  • Much of the magic is based on modern technology such as computers, cell phones, and television. As a result, the CGI design team had to make the magic look as modern as possible (i.e. television-style teleportations and brief white screen of death-like manifestations during bodily transformations, complete with a loud BEEEEEEEP!), which, surprisingly, most of the critics, including Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, liked.
  • Some scenes were shot using chromakey, including the patio scenes and the gym showdown scene.
  • Considered for director at one point was Mike Newell.
  • Before the nightclub scene could be shot, there was the slight matter of minors to contend with: Emma Watson and Carly McKillip were both underage in November 2006, making it seem impossible to film in an actual nightclub. However, when asked their ages, Emma explained that they were trying to make a movie, and a scene would take place in a nightclub. "In short," she said, "we're on official business." Needless to say, the desk clerk let them in on the grounds that they were "making a movie with a nightclub scene". The catch was, though, they had to shoot the scene in that very nightclub before leaving.
  • The film was shot in Barcelona, Spain and the Cinecitta backlot in Rome, Italy, though the nightclub scene was shot at a real nightclub in New York City.
  • Everyone did their own stunts during the gym showdown scene, and as such, the green high-intensity lasers, camoflauged by the chromakey set, were treacherous. Emma Watson came the closest of everyone to being sliced by the lasers. After that shot was finished, Emma, in a panic, yelled, "Missed it by THAT MUCH!" The effects animators studied the actors' movements on camera and added lightning where necessary. The shot of Leo getting struck by Sayaka's lightning was entirely CGI as Skandar Keynes didn't want to risk his life on a laser.
  • At the beginning of the shoot for the gym showdown scene, Emma attached herself to a wall using special boots while basketballs rained down on her, knocking her off the wall and into unconsciousness. Emma later said shooting the ambush was painful.
  • Emma Watson and Carly McKillip both appeared as Ayu and Nina's respective male alter egos, Ayuoh Tateishi and Jin Sato, in certain scenes.
  • Variations of the Wilhelm scream are heard every time Ayu accidentally electrocuted a boy (even Tetsushi) just by touching him while she was wearing a magic ring given to her by Nina. The classic Wilhelm scream can also be heard when Leo gets zapped by Sayaka's lightning during the gym showdown scene.
  • Castle thunder occurs every time dangerous magic hits its target (i.e. when Nina blows her fuse toward Sayaka and would've killed her if not stopped by Hiroki, instead destroying part of the gym's wall, having had her aim screwed up).
  • Ayu, Nina, and Hiroki break the fourth wall a couple of times, albeit unconventionally: once by Nina and Hiroki in a panic during the gym showdown scene, and once by Nina and Ayu before the former turns them into cats.