Berlin: ‘Ghostland’ Director Sion Sono Suffers Heart Attack

Mark Schilling

Japanese director Sion Sono suffered a heart attack Thursday and has since undergone an operation. Sono’s representatives have told Japanese media that his life is not in danger.

His illness may delay production of Nicolas Cage-starring horror-action film “Prisoners of the Ghostland,” which was scheduled to begin shooting this spring.

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Cage is to star as a criminal out to rescue a kidnapped girl who has fallen into a dark alternative universe. Imogen Poots has also boarded the film, which is Sono’s first in English.

“Our understanding is that he is in very good condition, and there’s no impact on ‘Ghostland’ or timeline,” producer Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films told Variety in an email.

Pushing boundaries of sex and violence while mixing in classical music, Christian imagery and black humor, Sono became an international cult favorite in the early years of the millennium. Among his best-known films abroad are “Suicide Club,” “Love Exposure” and “Cold Fish.”

According to local media sources, Sono complained of chest pains at his Tokyo home around 4 p.m. on Thursday and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

The “Ghostland” script is by Aaron Hendry and Reza Sixo Safai. Production is by Untitled Entertainment, Patriot Pictures/UPCM, Eleven Arts, Black Light District Entertainment and XYZ Films.

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