[10/30/06 - 04:12 PM]
Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu Join Cast of Afro Samurai(R)
The long-in-the-works animated series will finally premiere on Thursday, January 4.

[via press release from Spike TV]

Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu Join Cast of Afro Samurai(R)

Renowned Action Adventure Stars Appear in New Animated Series Premieres on January 4, 2007 on SPIKE

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 -- Renowned action adventure stars Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu will be joining Academy Award(R)-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson in "Afro Samurai." The five-part animated series is produced by Japanese studio Gonzo in association/partnership with GHK K.K. and FUNimation and premieres on SPIKE Thursday, January 4, 2007.

"Afro Samurai" is the animated epic, based on a graphic novel by Takashi Okazaki, of a black samurai's hunt for the gunman who murdered his father. Samuel L. Jackson executive-produces and stars as the uncompromising hero, Afro, in this stylish series that crosses cultural boundaries as a fusion of animated samurai action and hip-hop culture. Revolutionary rap artist and producer The RZA is crafting original music for the series.

Ron Perlman will give voice to Justice, the six-shooter wielding gunman who kills Afro's father and becomes the sole focus of Afro Samurai's quest for revenge.

"We're really excited to have the passion and skills of Ron Perlman on board for 'Afro Samurai.' He loves the genre, has tons of experience in the science fiction world, and brings a deep understanding and respect to the material," said Eric Calderon, vice-president of creative affairs at GDH K.K. "We're also ecstatic that such a charming and talented actor like Kelly Hu is joining us as well. Her excitement for the show really validates Afro Samurai as a breakout piece with enormous mass appeal."

Perlman is arguably best known for bringing comic book hero Hellboy to life as well as his Golden Globe winning and Emmy-nominated portrayal of the title character in the television series "Beauty and the Beast." Among his scores of other credits are "Star Trek: Nemesis," "Blade II," "Enemy at the Gates," "Alien: Resurrection" and "The Island of Dr. Moreau." He has also appeared in a number of television movies and Broadway plays.

"Aside from the opportunity to work with Sam Jackson, whom I admire intensely, the animation of gonzo is as startlingly cutting edge and exciting as anything I've seen to date -- and that includes 56 years of cartoon watching!" said Perlman.

Kelly Hu brings life to Okiku, a friend from Afro Samurai's past who is forced to betray those she loves in order to save one most dear to her. Hu co-starred in "X2: X-Men United" as well as "Cradle 2 the Grave" and "The Scorpion King." Currently, Hu is shooting a half-hour comedy for ABC titled "In Case of Emergency." Her other TV credits include Martial Law, Sunset Beach and Nash Bridges.

"It's an honor to be working with such amazing talent on this great project. I've been a huge fan of both Samuel Jackson and Ron Pearlman," said Hu. "Afro Samurai brings animation to a whole new level."

FUNimation Entertainment is set to release "AFRO SAMUARI" on DVD in spring 2007.

About FUNimation Entertainment

So it should read: FUNimation(R) Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation (Nasdaq: NAVR), is the leading company for home video sales of Japanese animation in the United States. The company's most recent initiative is the FUNimation Channel(SM), a new, 24-hour digital network featuring programming from the top anime brands in the United States. FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.

About GDH K.K.

GDH (Security code: TSE Mothers 3755) is a globally-focused Japanese media company founded in February 2000. The group produces cutting edge entertainment for teens and young adults including the famous GONZO animation brand and for kids and family under the recently launched Gonzo Films and Gonzino brands. GDH is a world leader in content development that targets both domestic and international audiences with Japan's trend-setting animation culture and, usually, GDH controls licensing management and international distribution for the content it produces. GDH group companies include GONZO K.K., G-creators K.K., Future Vision Music K.K., GONZINO K.K., GONZO Rosso Online K.K., GDH Capital K.K., and GK Entertainment K.K.


SPIKE is available in more than 90 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom International.


  [october 2006]  


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