It’s been a good year for Junji Ito fans—and not just because the COVID-19 pandemic saw us all retreat into a world of darkness, unhealthy obsession, and cramming ourselves into whatever small, isolated spaces we might conceivably fit into. Just last week, Adult Swim released a new tease for the animated adaptation of Ito’s spiral-themed masterpiece Uzumaki, which managed to translate the creeping, monochromatic dread of the original manga onto the screen, despite its minimalist presentation. Now, we’ve got word about a new project that Ito himself has been working up, and it’s hard to imagine a better fit between creator and subject matter
Which is to say: CBR reports today that Junji Ito has created a short manga based on, and adapted from, Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse. CBR also has a two-page preview of the book, which doesn’t show any of the truly fucked-up stuff from the psychological horror/comedy film—no mermaid, no dead gulls, no Willem Dafoe “leavings”—but does show that Ito has a pretty good grasp on all the deranged lines on the face of Dafoe’s lobster-loving wickie. The short manga will be distributed with the Japanese theatrical release of the film, which co-starred Robert Pattinson as Dafoe’s partner in escalating island madness, and was released back in 2019 to critical acclaim.
It’s worth noting that people have been drawing comparisons, both surface-level and deeper, between Eggers’ film and Ito’s work pretty much since the movie came out, from the striking black-and-white presentation, to the presence of the lighthouse itself, to the focus on steadily encroaching madness and unreliable realities. Ito himself was reportedly a fan of the film, which might help explain why he drew the adaptation, which reportedly spills the beans of the plot of the entire film. (At least, as clearly as the plot of The Lighthouse can be explained, we guess.)