Sumo Wrestling Drama ‘Sanctuary’ Set for Launch at Netflix, Trailer Unveiled

Netflix will give a May launch to “Sanctuary,” a sports drama series set in the specialized world of Japanese sumo wrestling.

Produced by the Slowtide company for the streamer, the show follows a juvenile delinquent who becomes a sumo apprentice. He soon finds himself on a collision course with a voiceless wrestler carrying a secret.

Netflix pitches it as “a gritty look into the underbelly of professional sumo, a world full of young men with ambitions for money, women, fame, and power […] where some may find sanctuary with a history of more than 1,500 years in Japan’s traditional culture and as a religious ceremony.”

The show is directed by Eguchi Kan from a screenplay by Kanazawa Tomoki. The producer is Fujita Daisuke and the executive producer for Netflix Sakamoto Kaata. The show will upload from May 4.

The diverse cast includes Ichinose Wataru, Sometani Shota (“Themis”), Kutsuna Shioli (“Deadpool 2”), Taguchi Tomorowo, Kaku So (“Kamen Rider Zero-One”), Taguchi?Kitarou?Katsuya Maiguma?Sumi Hiroki (“John Wick: Chapter 4”), Koyuki (The Last Samurai”)?Pierre Taki (“Like Father, Like Son”), Kishitani Goro (“The Returner”), Sasano Takashi (“Departures”), Kobayashi Kei (“Metropolis”) and Omusubi (“The Outsider”).

Netflix is ramping up its content production in Japan, which is its richest market in Asia and from which shows are increasingly building international careers. Its recent live-action shows include: “First Love” (December 2022), Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “The Makanai: Cooking in the Maiko House” (January 2023) and “Alice in Borderland” (December 2022, season 2).

Other upcoming shows include live-action versions of “Yu Yu Hakusho” and “City Hunter.” It will also release “Call Me Chihiro” and “Re/Member,” and the forthcoming “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead” and “In Love & Deep Water.”

Watch the trailer for “Sanctuary” here:

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