Ken Watanabe, 51, will make his 7th major international movie appearance in "Shanghai," a pre-World War II drama shot in China. Watanabe stars alongside John Cusack, 44, Gong Li, 45, Yun-Fat Chow, 55, and Rinko Kikuchi, 30, in the movie which is to be released in Japan on Aug 20.
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom and based on a script by Hossein Amini, the movie was filmed in Shanghai and tells the tale of an American who returns to a corrupt, Japanese-occupied Shanghai four months before Pearl Harbor and discovers his friend has been killed. While searching for his killer he meets a mysterious girl and accidentally uncovers a larger secret involving his own government.
"It was exciting to be able to shoot a movie alongside stars like Cusack and others of his caliber," said Watanabe. "I'm also pleased to have been able to put my dark side front and center for this role. I think I'm showing the world a side of myself they've never seen before."© Japan Today