Epic to lense in New Zealand, Japan, U.S.

New Zealand will host the Tom Cruise-starrer “The Last Samurai,” which will begin filming later this year. Pic will also shoot in Japan as well as the U.S.

An epic set in the 1870s, pic follows the waning days of Samurai warriors and the birth of modern Japan.

Pic reps another major boost for the Kiwi economy, which benefited greatly from New Line Cinema’s production of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Directed by Ed Zwick and written by John Logan, pic will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures. Producers are Radar Pictures, Bedford Falls and C/W Prods.

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