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Japan’s Oscar winning pic heads to the stage

'Departures' will bow in Tokyo in May

A play based on Japan’s 2008 foreign-language Oscar winner, “Departures,” will open in May in Tokyo, according to producer Yasuhiro Mase.

The film’s scripter, Kundo Koyama, is adapting the work for the stage , while pic helmer Yojiro Takita is overseeing production.

Kabuki actor Kantaro will play the role originated onscreen by Masahiro Motoki — an out-of-work cellist who finds a new calling preparing bodies for funerals. Rena Tanaka will play his not-so-understanding wife.

The play is set to open May 28 at Tokyo’s Akasaka ACT Theater, before going on the road to Osaka and Nagoya in June.

A year after its Sept. 13 domestic bow, the pic is still unspooling in theaters in Tokyo and Yamagata. It has picked up 89 awards in Japan and abroad, including the Oscar, and grossed more than $60 million. U.S. release via Regent Releasing has earned $1.3 million to date.

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