Kaho Minami (“Kabukicho Love Hotel”) and Koji Yakusho (“Shall We Dance”) also starred in the production, which filmed in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Matchgirl Pictures, Will Ferrell-Adam McKay’s Gloria Sanchez Productions and Meridian Content are the production companies.
The film is produced by Han West, Yukie Kito, Jessica Elbaum and Hirayangi. Executive producers are McKay, Will Ferrell, Meileen Choo, and Razmig Hovaghimian. UTA is representing North American rights and Phantom Film is distributing in Japan with NHK covering television rights for Japan.
The feature length film is based on the short film of the same name, directed by Japanese director Atsuko Hirayanagi from her own script. The short won the Jury Prize for International Fiction at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Terajima plays a lonely, chain-smoking office lady in Tokyo who is past her prime. After deciding to take an English class, she discovers a new identity in her American alter ego “Lucy” and falls for her instructor, played by Hartnett. When he suddenly disappears, she earnestly sets out on a quest to find him, eventually leading her to the outskirts of Southern California.
“We fell in love with the short Oh Lucy! and were thrilled that it made the jump to being a feature so effortlessly,” McKay said.”Atsuko is such a unique talent and Shinobu, Kaho, and Josh are hilarious and heartbreaking together.”
Terajima won a Berlin Silver Bear for Best Actress for “Caterpillar.” Hartnett starred in “Black Hawk Down” and “Penny Dreadful.”
The feature length script is also the recipient of the Sundance Institute/NHK Award, with NHK providing both financing and co-production support for the film.
Hirayanagi and Hartnett are both represented by UTA. The news was first reported by Screen.