by Chris MaGee
In other SMAP related news today... Last month word came out that SMAP member Shingo Katori would be taking on one of the most iconic roles in Japanese cinema history in Junji Sakamoto's "Zatoichi: The Last" (above left), apparently the very last appearance of the famed blind swordsman onscreen. Of course this casting decision still has many Japanese film fans a tad upset (myself included), but now it looks like the producers at Celluloid Dreams, Toho and director Sakamoto are at least stacking the supporting cast with some very impressive talent to make up for the boy band member at this film's center.
Dan Brown has reported via Twiiter at Ryuganji.net that Takashi Sorimachi, Chieko Baisho, Youki Kudoh, Koichi Iwaki, Yoshio Harada, Kanzaburo Nakamura, and Satomi Ishihara, who will be playing Zatoichi's wife, have all been cast in this "last" adventure. Here's just a thought though: wouldn't it have been more interesting if the film revolved around an older, almost over the hill Zatoichi instead of one in his prime played by Katori? Kind of an extension of Takeshi Kitano's 2003 film. It really would be the last adventure... and then they could have cast... oh, I don't know, say Yoshio Harada (above right) in the lead role (an actor who I love). Just a thought.
More news and details on "Zatoichi: The Last" as they leak out.