Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shoplifters star Ando Sakura have joined Monster, the upcoming feature from Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda.
It marks the first collaboration between Sakamoto, known for scoring Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence, The Revenant and The Last Emperor, and Kore-eda, who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018 with Shoplifters.
Monster also reunites the Japanese director with his Shoplifters star Sakura, who is also known for roles in Sion Son’s Love Exposure and Kei Ishikawa’s A Man, which played at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Further newly revealed cast includes Nagayama Eita, Tanaka Yuko and child actors Kurokawa Soya and Hiiragi Hinata.
The film is in post-production but first details of the feature only surfaced in November. It marks Kore-eda’s first film to be made in Japan since Shoplifters, having directed 2019 French feature The Truth and 2022 Korean film Broker in the interim.
The Japanese auteur has been a regular at Cannes for more than two decades with titles including Distance, Nobody Knows and jury prize winner Like Father, Like Son as well as Our Little Sister, Shoplifters and Broker – all of which played in Competition. A summer release date for Monster suggests a possible return to the Croisette for the filmmaker in 2023.
Japan’s Gaga Corporation will release the film in Japan on June 2, 2023, co-distributed with Toho.
Monster is scripted by Yuji Sakamoto and the lead producer is Genki Kawamura, who won best director at San Sebastian last year with his debut A Hundred Flowers. Kawamura recently worked with Kore-eda on Netflix series The Makanai: Cooking For The Maiko House, which launches on the streaming platform on January 12.
Kenji Yamada also produces Monster and production partners are Toho, Gaga, Fuji Television Network, AOI Pro and Kore-eda’s company Bun-Buku.