Serpent’s Path


‘Serpent’s Path’

Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who won best director at Venice in 2020 with Wife Of A Spy, has wrapped shooting French thriller Serpent’s Path starring Ko Shibasaki and Damien Bonnard.

The film, now in post-production, is an adaptation of Kurosawa’s 1998 Japanese feature of the same name, in which a man enlists a friend to help him exact revenge upon his daughter’s murderer. The original was written by Hiroshi Takahashi, co-writer of iconic horror Ring, and starred Teruyuki Kagawa and Show Aikawa.

In the French-language remake, the main character is a woman – played by Shibasaki – and all events take place in France. The screenplay was written by Kurosawa. Filming took place in April and May, and is set to be completed before the end of the year ahead of a release in 2024.

A first look at Bonnard and Shibasaki in Serpent’s Path can be seen above.

It is produced by Japan’s Kadokawa and France’s Cinefrance Studios. Kadokawa, which also produced the original film, handles international sales and will release in Japan. French distribution rights have been secured by Art House Films, which previously handled Kurosawa’s Wife Of A Spy and Foreboding.

Kurosawa is a Cannes regular, playing in Competition in 2003 with Bright Future; winning the Un Certain Regard jury prize with Tokyo Sonata in 2008; and winning the directing prize in 2015 with Journey To The Shore. His 2017 feature, Before We Vanish, also played in Un Certain Regard while Japan-Uzbek drama To The Ends Of The Earth screened as the closing film at Locarno in 2021.

Kurosawa first French-language film was Daguerreotype, starring Tahar Rahim and Constance Rousseau, which played Toronto in 2016.

Japan’s Shibasaki is an actor and singer known for roles in Isao Yukisada’s Go, for which she won the Japanese Academy Award for best supporting actress; US feature 47 Ronin, starring opposite Keanu Reeves; and NHK drama series Naotora: The Lady Warlord. More recently, she joined the voice cast of Hayao Miyazaki animation The Boy And The Heron, which is set to open Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals following its July release in Japan.

French actor Bonnard is known for titles such as Alain Guiraudie’s Staying Vertical, for which he won the Lumière Award for best young actor in 2017 and received a Cesar nomination. He has since received three further Cesar nods for his performances in The Trouble With You, Ladj Ly’s Les Miserables and Joachim Lafosse’s The Restless. More recently, Bonnard has played roles in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, which will receive its world premiere in Competition at Venice.