by Chris MaGee
2008 has already seen two big screen adaptations of the works of Japanese novelist Osamu Dazai being announced. First there was the report in June of Eriko Sato being cast in Dazai's 1947 novel “Shayo (The Setting Sun)” and then in July it was announced that Tadanobu Asano and Takako Matsu would be starring in an adaptation of Dazai's short story "Villon's Wife".
Why the sudden surge in interest in Osamu Dazai (1909-1948), the suicidal, boozing and brilliant author who died tragically at the young age of 39? Well, next year will mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, so expect to see both of these projects to be released in Japanese theatres in 2009.
As a tease to these literary adaptations Variety Japan has run a photo taken on set of "Villon's Wife" featuring Takako Matsu in character as Sachi, the wife of an alcoholic and abusive writer who will be portrayed by Tadanobu Asano. Filming of "Villon's Wife" began last month with director Kichitaro Negishi behind the camera. More on this film as it comes out.