Japanese studios are readying a spate of action filmscentred on World War II.
Back in the mid-1990s Japanese studios also released anumber of films commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.Many were produced or directed by members of the war generation and looked backon the fallen much as a speaker at a memorial service might, simultaneouslyrevelling in their heroism and regretting their loss.
However, the new round of war films have bigger budgets,more firepower and a less conflicted perspective.
Lorelei, an actiondrama based on a novel by Harutoshi Fukui. Koji Yakusho stars as a submarinecommander who finds himself carrying a secret weapon developed by the Nazis.Production is set to start in March, with effects wizard Shinji Higushidirecting and Toho scheduled to distribute.
Another is TheBattleship Yamato, the come-back film of former megaproducer HarukiKadokawa, based on the true story of Japan's last battleship. Hit by a massiveUS air bombardment, the Yamato went down in a blaze of glory in the closingdays of the war, taking all but 270 of her 3,000-man crew with her. Junya Satowill direct and Toei will distribute.
Meanwhile, Kadokawa Pictures -- the film arm of the mediaempire now headed by Haruki's brother, is planning to remake G.I. Samurai(Sengoku Jietai), a 1979 Haruki Kadokawa film about a Self Defense Forcesunit that finds itself back in 16th century Japan -- and forced to battlebloody-minded samurai.
Meanwhile, Shochiku and Herald are partnering to produce DoomedAegis, another film based on a Harutoshi Fukui novel, this time aboutdesperate men who hijack a warship -- and train its missiles on Japan.