XYZ Films has boarded action thriller “Yakuza Princess,” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Japanese-American singer Masumi. The film will be shopped to buyers at the European Film Market (EFM) in early March.
XYZ will sell worldwide rights save Latin America for the English-language feature, directed by Vicente Amorim, whose previous film, “Motorrad,” screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. The film is written by Amorim, Fernando Toste, Kimi Lee and Tubaldini Shelling.
Based on the graphic novel “Samurai Shiro” by Danilo Beyruth and set in the expansive Japanese community of Sao Paulo in Brazil — the largest Japanese diaspora in the world — “Yakuza Princess” turns on orphan Akemi (Masumi), who turns 21 and finds out she is the heiress to half of the Yakuza (Japanese crime syndicate) empire. The other half, however, wants her dead, and her one hope is an amnesiac gaijin (foreigner, played by Rhys Meyers) who awakes in hospital believing that an ancient sword ties their two fates together.
Rhys Meyers most recently starred in the series “Vikings” and film “The Aspern Papers.” The actor has a slate of films set for release, including “American Night” alongside Emile Hirsch and “The Survivalist” with Jenna Leigh Green and John Malkovich. Meanwhile, California-born Masumi’s music career has seen her tour in Europe and Japan, open for Moby at NAMM, and release single “Run Baby Run.”
Tubaldini Shelling, Andre Skaf and Filmland International are producing with XYZ Films executive producing. The completed film will receive a market premiere at the EFM, which runs virtually this year from March 1-5.
XYZ’s recent slate of sales titles includes Netflix original “The Trip,” starring Noomi Rapace and Aksel Hennie; “Cus and Mike,” starring Anthony Hopkins; current release “Vivarium,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots; and Sion Sono’s “Prisoners of the Ghostland,” starring Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
The producer and sales agent is also in post-production on “Stowaway,” starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette and set to debut on Netflix later this year, as well as “Dual,” starring Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul and Beulah Koale.