TOKYO – Veteran Japanese character actor Kenichi Endo is set to star in Hideo Sakaki’s new action drama “Kiyamachi Daruma” as a former gang boss who finds himself a quadruple amputee — and turns to loan sharking with the aid of normally limbed underlings.
Based on a novel by Hiroyuki Maruno once considered unfilmable, the pic will be actor Sakaki’s sixth as a director. His credits include “Disregarded People,” a gritty drama about a down-and-outer’s return to his island home that bowed in competition at last year’s Tokyo festival, and “Accidental Kidnapper,” a dramedy about a suicidal man’s bonding with a yakuza boss’ young son that premiered internationally at the 2010 Udine Far East Film Festival.
Endo is a favorite of “king of cult” Takashi Miike, appearing in the helmer’s “The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji” (2014), “Crows Zero 2” (2009), “Crows Zero” (2007) and “Gozu” (2003), among others. He also appeared in Sakaki’s 2007 coming-of-age pic “Grow.”
Release of “Kiyamachi Daruma” is scheduled for 2015.