Shochiku has announced that it will distribute $10m action thriller Midnight Eagle, produced by the Midnight Eagle Partners production consortium, led by co-producer Universal Pictures Japan.

The film, which began production in January, is directed by Izuru Narushima whose credits include box office hit Fly, Daddy, Fly.

Starring in the film's leading role is Takao Osawa, the popular star of Crying Out Love, In The Center Of The World , with co-stars Yuko Takeuchi (Ring) and Hiroshi Tamaki (Waterboys).

Based on the original novel of the same title written by Tetsuo Takashima, the film takes place in the secluded, snow-clad Northern Alps of Japan, where a single US stealth fighter known as Midnight Eagle crashes.

As it is revealed that the stealth bomber carries a specialised warhead that, if detonated, could hurl the entire nation of Japan into an unprecedented calamity, an intense stand-off between Japan and a foreign country it has never established diplomatic relations with ensues.

Osawa plays the ex-war photographer who, after personally witnessing the crash, becomes increasingly drawn into the battle that will decide the fate of 127 million people.

Japan 's Defense Agency and the Ground/Air Self-Defense Force have given their full support for the film.

Shochiku expects to release Midnight Eagle in Japan on Nov 23 and is also handling international sales.