Webber in pre-production on ‘Emperor’

Fellers Films and Krasnoff/Foster will produce

Peter Webber (“Girl With a Pearl Earring”) has come on board to direct post-WWII romance-drama “Emperor” as a co-production between Fellers Films and Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment.

Project, which is in pre-production, was announced Wednesday at the opening day of the American Film Market.

Screenplay for “Emperor” is penned by David Klass (“Walking Tall,”) and Vera Blasi (“Woman on Top”). Pic will be produced by Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff.

Inspired by true events, “Emperor” is set amid the tensions and uncertainties of the days following the Japanese surrender at the end of the war. A general and expert on Japan on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff is ordered to decide whether Emperor Hirohito should be tried and hanged as a war criminal.

Interwoven with the politics is the story of a love affair with a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S.

“The end of WWII in the Far East and the relationship between MacArthur and Japan, is a part of history which has been largely unexplored on film,” Foster said. “With most documents burned, historians have relied on accounts which are being debated to this day.”

Production is due to begin in January with lensing to take place in New Zealand and Japan. CAA is handling sales in the U.S. and casting is currently underway.

Fellers Film was formed by Narahashi and Nomura. Foster’s credits include “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Tin Cup,” “Ghost Rider,” “Daredevil” and “The Soloist.” He and Krasnoff executive produce the NBC series “Community.”

Webber will make “Emperor” before the previously reporter “The Spider’s House.”