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PRESS CENTER

24 Jul 2008

Afro Samurai Picks Up His Sword Again In An Original Movie Event

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AFRO SAMURAI PICKS UP HIS SWORD AGAIN IN AN ORIGINAL MOVIE EVENT OF SPIKE TV’S CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED ANIME SERIES

“Afro Samurai: Resurrection” To Premiere On Spike TV in January 2009

Samuel L. Jackson Reprises His Starring Role As “Afro”
And Featuring Special Guest Star Lucy Liu

Revolutionary Rap Artist And Producer The RZA To Craft Original Score

Sneak Peek Of Trailer Available On Spike.com Starting Thursday, July 24 At 8:15 PM ET

San Diego, CA, July 24, 2008  – Spike TV’s critically-acclaimed, funktastic anime series “Afro Samurai” returns with an original movie event set to premiere on the network in January 2009.    “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” stars Academy Award®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson opposite, Emmy Award®-nominated actress Lucy Liu.  Award winning artist The RZA once again provides the original score.  “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” is produced by Japanese studio GONZO in association/partnership with GDH K.K. and FUNimation Entertainment.

“Afro Samurai: Resurrection” is based on the original art and story telling of manga artist Takashi Okazaki, of a black samurai’s quest for revenge and justice for his murdered father.  Samuel L. Jackson (“The Spirit”), who also serves as an executive producer, reprises his role as the uncompromising hero, Afro and his motor-mouthed sidekick Ninja Ninja.  When his father’s body is stolen from its grave, Afro is forced to pick up his sword and wreak bloody vengeance against an army of deadly foes lead by a sadistic mastermind.

Lucy Liu will give voice to Sio, a beautiful, seductive and sadistic mastermind plotting to destroy Afro Samurai.  Liu is the star of several Hollywood blockbuster action-adventure films including “Charlie’s Angels” and “Kill Bill” and has joined the cast of the ABC drama “Dirty Sexy Money.”  Liu can currently be heard as Master Viper in the animated film “Kung Fu Panda.”

Additional casting includes Mark Hamill as Bin, Sio’s manservant and protector and Yuri Lowenthal as Kuma, the teddy bear-headed warrior from the original “Afro Samurai” series.  Best known as the young hero Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Mark Hamill has had a successful career on Broadway, as a voice actor in both animation and video games and as a comic book creator.  Yuri Lowenthal is the voice of Sauske in the hit children’s anime series and cultural phenomenon “Naruto.”

Spike.com and Afrosamurai.com will air a sneak peek of the trailer for “Afro Samurai: Resurrection”  starting Thursday, July 24 at 8:15 PM, ET, immediately following its world premiere debut at Comic-Con in San Diego.

Fans who can’t get enough of “Afro Samurai” can get their latest fix with the 2009 release of the “Afro Samurai” video game from Namco Bandai Games America Inc. 

High-style action comes to the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system with “Afro Samurai®” from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.  Based on the hit animated series starring and executive-produced by Samuel L. Jackson, join Afro in his tale of revenge as he searches for his father’s murderer and the holder of the coveted number one headband.  Blending modern hip hop with traditional Japanese culture, “Afro Samurai” is a cutting edge game that will deliver a new kind of cinematic experience which offers addictive and compelling gameplay that is literally dripping in style.  For more information on “Afro Samurai,” please visit: http://www.namcobandaigames.com or www.afrosamurai.com.

About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for home video sales of Japanese animation 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. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, visit www.funimation.com.

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., GONZO Rosso K.K., Future Vision Music K.K., GONZINO K.K., GDH Capital K.K. and GK Entertainment K.K.

About NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.
NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., is a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer based in Santa Clara, CA.  The company is a part of the NAMCO BANDAI group of companies known for creating and publishing many of the industry’s top video game franchises including the PAC-MAN®, SOULCALIBUR®, Naruto™ and Tekken® brands.  For more information about NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., and our products log onto www.namcobandaigames.com.

About SPIKE
Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.

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Press Contacts:
Debra Fazio        Spike TV-NY        212/767-8649            debra.fazio@mtvstaff.com
Jackie Smith        FUNimation         972/355-7300      Jackie.smith@funimation.com