Ken Watanabe Joins Cast Of Shanghai

Watanabe LThe new Weinstein period piece Shanghai has enlisted Mr. Ken Watanabe to join the ranks. We get the following scoop thanks to the professionals at Variety:

The Weinstein Co. has set Ken Watanabe to join John Cusack and Gong Li in “Shanghai,” a period drama that will begin shooting in China next month. Mikael Hafstrom, who helmed Cusack in the Dimension hit “1408,” will direct a script by Hossein Amini. The drama, set four months prior to Dec. 7, 1941, follows an American who returns to a corrupt, Japan-occupied Shanghai to discover his friend has been killed. While trying to solve the murder, he falls in love and discovers a much larger secret that his own government is hiding.

I am not into investigative dramas, they do not excite me and seldom do I desire to see one. Lust, Caution took place in Japanese occupied Shanghai, and that time and place certainly seems full of stories. I am more interested in the city than I am about a murder investigation. I hope we are immersed in the history of the place rather than just having Shanghai stand as a backdrop to a cop film.

I enjoy both Cusack and Watanabe and it will be interested to see the two work together. This is a pairing that seems strange, but could work, time will tell. Shanghai is currently filming in Shanghai (surprise!) and is scheduled for a release date of 2009.

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