The Hollywood Reporterannounced that Hayden Christensen will produce and star in Beast of Bataan. The story is based on Lawrence Taylor's book A Trial of Generals and was adapted for the screen by Chris Carlson and Mark Jean. The script will focus on the war crime trials that took place after the infamous Bataan Death March during WWII. Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees of Separation) has already signed to direct and Christensen will produce the indie-drama under his Forest Park Pictures banner.

Now for a little history lesson: On April 9th, 1942, General Edward P. King surrendered approximately 75,000 troops (mainly wounded American and Filipino soldiers) to the Japanese as prisoners of war that were to be transported from Mariveles to Camp O'Donnell, a prison camp in the province of Tarlac. Instead what happened was the men were marched without food and water, were tortured and beaten, and of the original 75,000 men only 54,000 reached their destination. Ultimately, the Japanese general responsible for transporting the soldiers (Lt. General Masaharu Homma) was convicted of war crimes and executed just outside of Manilla in 1946 (I guess I should have labeled that a spoiler, but it is history after all, so it's not like it was a secret).

Babel star, Koji Yakusho, is in talks to play the Japanese general, Lt. General Homma and Christensen will play his rookie defense attorney trying to save Homma from the death penalty -- although I guess we all know how that one turns out. Also joining Christensen are William Hurt and Willem Defoe, but there was no word on their roles. Beast of Bataan is scheduled to start shooting in Australia this February.

categories Cinematical