Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ken'ichi Matsuyama and Rinko Kikuchi cast in Tran Anh Hung's "Norwegian Wood"

by Chris MaGee

Last July a lot of people got excited (including myself) when it was announced that French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung, in conjunction with the folks at Asmik Ace and Fuji TV, would be adapting Haruki Murakami's 1987 novel "Norwegian Wood" into a feature film. If you've seen Hung's beautiful, lyrical films "Scent of Green Papaya" and "Cyclo" then you know why Murakami fans were very, very happy last summer; but since then there hasn't been much news on the project. Now that the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival is under way news on various films is starting to come out of the woodwork... like the "Norwegian Wood"... work... Okay, bad joke.

Now, thanks to Jason Gray we finally find out who's been cast in Hung's "Norwegian Wood": Ken'ichi Matsuyama and Rinko Kikuchi. Matsuyama will be taking on the role of Toru Watanabe, the college student at the ceter of Murakami's novel, while Kikuchi will play his troubled lover. The cast is rounded by 18-year-old fashion model Kiko Mizuhara in her very first acting role as Midori, the other woman in Toru's life.

While having Oscar nominee Kikuchi as part of any film is great I'm particularly happy about Matsuyama being cast as Toru. He's a young man with a lot of talent, talent that movie audiences around the world are just getting acquainted with. The only down side to this news item? Even though "Norwegian Wood" is set to begin shooting in June it isn't scheduled to be released until the fall of next year. Thanks to Tokyograph for the additional details on this story.

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