Lily Franky (“Shoplifters,” “Like Father Like Son”), Ciaran Hinds (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” “The Terror”) and Ryô Nishikido (“Hospitality Department”) have joined the cast of Oscar-nominated “Philomena” producer Gabrielle Tana’s forthcoming film “Cottontail.”
BAFTA “Brit to Watch” director Patrick Dickinson directs. Also joining the cast are Japanese Academy Award winner Tae Kimura (“Zero Focus”) and Rin Takanashi (“Like Someone in Love”).
London’s WestEnd Films is handling world sales, and will continue to sell the film at this week’s European Film Market.
“Cottontail” tells the heart-rending story of Kenzaburo (Franky) who, after his wife Akiko (Kimura) passes away in Japan, travels with his estranged son Toshi (Nishikido) and daughter-in-law Satsuki (Takanashi) to the Lake District in England — the land of Beatrix Potter, whose charming tales of Peter Rabbit captivated Akiko as a child.
Akiko had always hoped to travel there one day with Kenzaburo, but now he must fulfil his wife’s last wish and scatter her ashes there. Kenzaburo ends up making the trip alone after an argument with his son, and after a nightmarish entry to the U.K., eventually meets John (Hinds) and his daughter Mary. A strong friendship develops between them and Kenzaburo realizes he needs to pursue this symbolic journey with his son — and ultimately reveal a long-time secret.
Ken Watanabe was previously attached to star in the pic.
“Cottontail” is co-produced by Jamie Harvey (“Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men”), who is part of the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew class of 2021, and Satch Watanabe (“Tokyo Vice,” “The Outsider”).
Crew members include director of photography Mark Wolf (“Dancer”), production designer Matthew Button (“Loving Vincent”) and art director Daniela Faggio (“Loving Vincent”). Ko Iwagami (“Tokyo Vice”) is the casting director, Jo Farrugia (“How to Build a Girl”) is U.K. casting director and Kôsuke Oshida (“The Outsider”) is the Japanese line producer.
Principal photography is set to begin in June in Japan and the U.K.