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TOKYO – “Departures” star Masahiro Motoki will head the cast of hot auteur Miwa Nishikawa’s new film “The Long Excuse.”

The movie is a drama based on her own novel about a writer in mourning after losing his wife in an accident.

Motoki, played the apprentice undertaker in the 2008 Oscar winner “Departures.”

Eri Fukatsu, who starred in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cannes entry “Journey to the Shore,” will play the writer’s wife. Pistol Takehara, a boxer turned performer, plays the writer’s similarly bereaved truck driver acquaintance.

The film was presented at Busan’s Asian Project Market last year and is scheduled to wrap in December. It is set for a 2016 release with Asmik Ace Entertainment distributing.

Nishikawa’s previous work includes the 2012 “Dreams for Sale,” which premiered at Toronto and also screened at festivals in Vancouver, London and New York.