HK thesp has first lead role in a Japanese pic

TOKYO — Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu-Wai has boarded helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s period drama “1905.”

In his first lead role in a Japanese pic, Leung will co-star with Shota Matsuda and Atsuko Maeda, formerly of the pop group AKB48.

Set in 1905 in Yokohama, the pic features Leung as a Chinese moneylender and Matsuda as a Japanese nationalist on the trail of five Chinese revolutionaries. Leung wants to collect from them while Matsuda wants to get them out of the country. Maeda plays a girl who cooks and cares for Leung’s character in Japan.

Pic will be produced by Hiroko Shinohara of Tokyo-based Premom H. Shooting will start in November for a fall 2013 release.

Kurosawa is best known internationally for his J Horror pics. He also successfully moved into family drama with “Tokyo Sonata,” winner of the Cannes Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize in 2008. His most recent project, the five-part TV drama “Penance” made for the Wowow channel, screened at the Venice Film Festival this month in a condensed version.

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