More cast members revealed for Sion Sono’s "The Land of Hope"
By kevin on April 04, 2012 at 5:11pm EDT
Last year, director Sion Sono chose to film his live-action adaptation of Himizu in an area devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, incorporating the effects of disaster into the story. With his next film, The Land of Hope, he’s going a step further by making a human drama about a family living within the evacuation radius of a damaged nuclear power plant during the disaster.
It was previously known that the story would focus on three primary couples played by Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Otani, Jun Murakami, Megumi Kagurazaka, Yutaka Shimizu, and Hikari Kajiwara—with Denden playing someone with important ties to the main family. Today it was revealed that Daikichi Sugawara, Takashi Yamanaka, and Kenzo Kawarazaki would also star.
Additionally, the film will boast a fairly large cast of established actors in smaller supporting roles including Yusuke Iseya, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Fusako Urabe, Gitan Ohtsuru, Satoshi Matsuo, Shiro Namiki, Tetsushi Tanaka, Toru Tezuka, and Keisuke Horibe.
Although some of these additional cast members are featured far less than they’re used to, they all happily accepted their roles for the chance to work with Sono on the project.
The story revolves around a couple, Yoichi (Murakami) and Izumi (Kagurazaka), who are living in a village as humble dairy farmers with Yoichi’s parents (Natsuyagi and Otani) during the earthquake and subsequent nuclear meltdown. When the evacuation begins, Yoichi is initially hesitant to leave due to his attachment to their home. However, he’s forced to take action to protect his pregnant wife. During the evacuation, the family and their neighbors are separated as the three main couples each face the consequences of their respective decisions.
The film is being produced in a joint effort between Japanese distributor Bitters End, Sono’s agency Dongyu Club, and UK distributor Third Window Films. Filming began on January 13 and production will be completed soon with a Japanese release slated for fall 2012.
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