Fortissimo Films has acquired the first English-language feature from acclaimed Japanese director Shunji Iwai, whose credits include Love Letter and April Story.

The as-yet-untitled film is a modern, erotic take on the vampire legend, set to star Amanda Plummer and Japanese actress Aoi Yu, while Kevin Zegers (pictured) (Dawn Of The Dead) is in negotiations to join the cast. Principal photography is set to commence in May in Vancouver.

Produced by Rockwell Eyes and Tim Kwok’s Convergence Entertainment – with whom Fortissimo will co-represent North American rights – the film was pre-sold as part of the producer’s financing arrangements to the Middle East, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and Japan.

The deal for international rights was finalised by Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner and director of marketing and Asian acquisitions Esther Yeung, together with Convergence Entertainment’s Kwok.

The film follows a seemingly average young man who secretly craves blood and seeks out suicidal young women on the internet.

“With this project, he and producer Tim Kwok in chilling and thrilling cinematic fashion are basically demonstrating that in the quest for love, human nature enables all of us to crave to be vampires. Iwai’s contemporary take on this classic tale is certain to resonate and thrill audiences around the world, ” said Werner and Yeung.

Iwai’s first foray into English-language production was a segment in the anthology feature New York, I Love You, starring Orlando Bloom and Christina Ricci.