Universal actioner, based on Japanese legend, stars Keanu Reeves

Four Japanese actors have joined Universal’s Keanu Reeves actioner “47 Ronin,” about a group of warriors on a vengeance quest.

Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi join the cast for the pic directed by Carl Rinsch. Story is inspired by the Japanese legend of the 47 Ronin, who seek vengeance against an overlord who banished them.

Pic’s set to be released in 3D on Nov. 11, 2012.

Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini penned the script with Scott Stuber, Pamela Abdy and Eric McLeod producing through Stuber Prods.

U sees “47 Ronin” as one of its big 2012 tentpoles and was particular about its cast. Sources tell Variety that Universal sought actors of Japanese descent to be true to the story even if they weren’t as recognizable to domestic auds.

Some of the project’s new faces should look familiar. Sanada was seen in “The Last Samurai” and “Sunshine” and most recently played Dogen in the final season of “Lost.” Kikuchi is best known for her Oscar-nominated role in “Babel,” and Asano has Paramount’s “Thor” and U’s “Battleship” coming up. Shibasaki has appeared in some of Japan’s biggest B.O. hits, including “Battle Royale” and “Go.”

Asano and Kikuchi are repped by CAA and Anore, Sanada by the Libra Intl.

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