by Chris MaGee
It was last month that we reported on how the often adapted romance "The Tale of Genji" was set to be adapted yet again, but this time in a way that it had never been before. How could that be? Was someone planning to set the tale of courtly love in 11th-century Japan in space? Were they going to cast the major roles with house pets? Well, there wasn't anything that drastic going on, but this new screen version of "Genji" was going to be a hell of a lot more expensive than its predecessors. How expensive? Try a ¥1 billion budget.
Director Yasuo Tsuruhashi was announced as helming this lavish production and 26-year-old heartthrob singer and actor Toma Ikuta was announced as taking on the role of the novel's protagonist, Hikaru Genji. Now CinemaCafe.net has brought us news of additional casting. It turns out that Miki Nakatani (above left) will be portraying the author of "The Tale of Genji", Lady Murasaki Shikibu, while Yosuke Kubozuka (above right) will play legendary court magician Abe no Seimei. Both stars are currently shooting "Genji" in Kyoto and Iwate with an expected release date for the film sometime next year.