Confirming consistent internet rumors, it was announced yesterday that Ken Watanabe will star in the Japanese half of Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima project, Red Sun, Black Sand. Watanabe will play Tadamichi Kuribayashi, the general who led the Japanese forces on the island; the movie's story takes its inspiration from letters the general wrote during the battle. Also in the cast are Shido Nakamura, Kazuya Kazunari Ninomiya (who actually seems to be in some sort of a boy band), Tsuyoshi Ihara, and Ryo Kase.

The screenplay for Red Sun is almost entirely in Japanese (Yay! Thank the Lord they didn't take the ever-popular The Hunt for Red October approach, and have all the characters speak English - except not really.), and was written by Iris Yamashita after she and Paul Haggis (who wrote Flags of Our Fathers, the American half of the project) collaborated on a general outline. Eastwood, who is currently wrapping up post-production on Flags, plans to begin shooting next week in LA; the plan is to release both films later this year, with Flags coming first.
categories Movies, Cinematical