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Big Bang's Seung Ri to star in his first Chinese film

  July 25, 2016  
After making his Japanese silver screen debut in High & Low: The Movie, Big Bang's Seung Ri is going to hit Chinese cinemas for the first time with Bonjour Les Couleurs De L'amour. World-famous photographer Andrea Klarin will direct alongside a strong production team that includes award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle and renowned Hong Kong designer Wing Shya, who collaborated with director Wong Kar Wai in Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and 2046. Starring Seung Ri, Bea Hayden Kuo (Tiny Times series), Michelle Bai (Kung Fu Jungle), Korean musician-turned-actor Lee Hyun Jae (Tiny Times 3) and model Sean Zhang, the romantic fantasy comedy unfolds different encouraging stories about love and friendship. The film will be shot in Saipan, Hong Kong, France, England and the Caribbean Sea.

Bea Hayden Kuo stars as clinical psychologist Tina who has lost confidence in people due to a childhood trauma. Helped by a messenger from above, Tina learns to deal with different relationships and steps out from the shadow of her traumatic past to begin a new life with Winson (Seung Ri), a charming chief marketing officer. Meanwhile, Michelle Bai plays cheerful online writer May who forms a love triangle with an optimistic trainee psychologist (Lee Hyun Jae) and her playboy neighbor (Sean Zhang).

Bonjour Les Couleurs De L'amour is slated to open in February 2017.

Text / Pisces

Ninomiya Kazunari plays a cook in new film by director of Departures

  July 21, 2016  
Production has been announced for Departures director Takita Yojiro's first film in five years, Last Recipe, starring Arashi's Ninomiya Kazunari. Also co-starring Nishijima Hidetoshi, Miyazaki Aoi, Ayano Go, Takenouchi Yutaka, Oida Yoshi and Kansai Johnny's Jr. member Nishihata Daigo, the cooking-themed film is based on a novel by Iron Chef director Tanaka Keiichi, with a script by Hayashi Tamio (Eternal Zero).

Ninomiya will play Mitsuru Sasaki, a modern-day cook with a "kirin's tongue" that allows him to reproduce any taste. With his unique set of skills, he is generously rewarded to prepare last meals for the dying who wish to eat a certain dish for the last time. When Sasaki sets out to reproduce a long-lost imperial full-course menu, his life will become linked to that of another man with the kirin's tongue, imperial chef Yamagata Naotaro in 1930s Manchuria. Portrayed by Nishijima, Yamagata, whose story will unfold parallel to that of Sasaki, devotes his life to creating the best imperial menu. Ayano Go plays Sasaki's only friend who understands him, Oida Yoshi plays a Chinese cuisine chef who asks Sasaki to reproduce the imperial menu, and Miyazaki Aoi plays Yamagata's wife.

Shooting for Last Recipe will take place from July to October. The film is scheduled to open in autumn 2017.

Text / Sanwei

Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi in forbidden love story Narratage

  July 20, 2016  
Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi have been cast in the leading roles of director Yukisada Isao's new film Narratage. Best known for the romantic blockbuster Crying Out Love in the Center of the World, this time Yukisada tells a story of forbidden love between a high school drama teacher and his former student.

Narratage is based on a romance novel written at the age of 20 by Shimamoto Rio, the youngest ever recipient of the Noma Literary New Face Prize. Published in 2005, the novel has sold over 350,000 copies to date. Yukisada expressed that he has wanted to adapt the novel ever since he read it, and is now finally able to do so ten years later.

In the film, Arimura Kasumi plays Kudo Izumi, who has long had a crush on her high school drama club advisor Hayama Takashi, played by Matsumoto Jun. During her second year of university, she is invited back to her alma mater by Takashi to participate in a drama club performance. When the two meet again, they fall into a forbidden love. Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi previously collaborated in the 2014 TV drama Shitsuren Chocolatier in which they played siblings.

Narratage began shooting in early July and is set to open in Japan in autumn 2017.

Text / tabo
Translation / Sanwei

Gong Yoo fights zombies in Yeon Sang Ho's Train to Busan

  July 18, 2016  
Inspired by the MERS epidemic that swept Korea in 2015, award-winning animation filmmaker Yeon Sang Ho (The King of Pigs, The Fake) created the horror animated feature Seoul Station to criticize the impotent government and different social problems through the story of a father searching for his missing daughter during a zombie outbreak. The rare zombie-themed animation received the Silver Raven at the 34th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. Yeon follows up on Seoul Station with the thematically related Train to Busan, his first live-action film which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

In the zombie apocalypse film, Gong Yoo (A Man and a Woman) takes the role of single father Seok Woo, a workaholic fund manager who sets off for Busan with his daughter Su An (played by child star Kim Su An) to visit his ex-wife. Also on the train are the pregnant Sung Kyung (Jung Yoo Mi, Our Sunhi), her wrestler husband Sang Hwa (Ma Dong Seok, The Chronicles of Evil), high school girl Jin Hee (former Wonder Girls member Ahn So Hee) and baseball player Young Guk (Choi Woo Shik, Set Me Free), as well as an infected teenage girl who turns the train into ground zero by spreading her zombie virus to other passengers.

Train to Busan opens in Korea on July 20.

Text / Pisces

Takizawa Hideaki to star in Shimizu Takashi-directed J-horror film

  July 14, 2016  
Johnny's artist Takizawa Hideaki will take on the first leading film role of his career in Japanese horror director Shimizu Takashi's new work Kodomo Tsukai. Though Takizawa regularly stars in stage and television productions including the currently airing TBS drama Seisei Suruhodo, Aishiteru, Kodomo Tsukai marks his first film appearance since 2000's Kawa no Nagare no You ni.

Best known as the creator of the Ju-on: The Grudge series, Shimizu Takashi offers a twist on the scary children trope with Kodomo Tsukai. Takizawa plays a mysterious man who can manipulate children's spirits to place curses on adults. He suddenly appears before children, controls their souls and takes them away. When the children return, the adults with whom they interact die after three days. Takizawa's labelmate Arioka Daiki of Hey! Say! JUMP co-stars as a journalist investigating the strange deaths and actress Kadogawa Mugi (Lover's Whirlpool) plays his girlfriend.

In a comment posted on Kodomo Tsukai's official website, Takizawa notes that the film is not only scary but also humorous, and encompasses many themes and stories of how people grow up. He hopes to bring audiences a "completely original new genre of horror film."

Kodomo Tsukai begins shooting in July and will be released in 2017.

Text / Sanwei

YG Entertainment's new girl group Black Pink to debut in late July

  July 13, 2016  
Seven years since 2NE1's debut, YG Entertainment is launching its second K-pop girl group Black Pink. Combining "black" and "pink," the group name contradicts the common perception of "pink" as a symbol of prettiness to highlight the members' talents rather than their beauty. Reportedly originally planned as a nine-member group, Black Pink now debuts with four members: Jisoo, Dutch member Jennie, Rosé from Australia and Lisa from Thailand.

Prior to their debut, the Black Pink members have already worked with many YG artists. Rosé collaborated with G-Dragon for "Without You," while Jennie featured in Lee Hi's Special, Seung Ri's GG Be and G-Dragon's Black. Jisoo, on the other hand, exhibited her acting talent in the hit drama The Producers and appeared in the music videos of project group Hi Suhyun's "I'm Different" and Epik High's Spoiler.

Starting from July, Black Pink will continuously release various songs from their debut album along with music videos. Their debut album was produced by Teddy, the creator of 2NE1's Fire, I Don't Care, Can't Nobody and Lonely.

Text / Pisces

Park So Dam, Jung Il Woo & Ahn Jae Hyun star in Cinderella and Four Knights

  July 12, 2016  
Produced by HB Entertainment, the creator of hit Korean dramas like You Who Came from the Stars and Yong Pal, tvN's upcoming drama Cinderella and Four Knights is adapted from author Baek Myo's 2011 novel about a high school girl who works in a mansion where she lives with three young masters and a bodyguard. The Master's Sun director Kwon Hyuk Chan teams up with rookie screenwriters Min Ji Eun and Won Young Sil for the fantasy romance, which stars the fresh young cast of breakout actress Park So Dam (Because It's the First Time), Jung Il Woo (The Night Watchman's Journal), Ahn Jae Hyun (Blood), CNBLUE's Lee Jung Shin (Temptation), Choi Min (Riders: Catch Tomorrow) and Apink's Son Na Eun (Twenty Again).

Park So Dam plays high school student Eun Ha Won, who dreams of becoming a veterinarian. She works part-time to save money for university tuition, and one day she happens to meet a CEO who offers her a high-paying job. She ends up living in a mansion together with bodyguard Lee Yoon Sung (Choi Min) and the CEO's three grandsons – the lonely but warm Kang Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo), playboy plutocrat Kang Hyun Min (Ahn Jae Hyun) and top singer-songwriter Kang Seo Woo (Lee Jung Shin).

Cinderella and Four Knights starts airing on August 12 on tvN.

Text / Pisces

Nicholas Tse and Lau Ching Wan reunite in crime thriller Heartfall Arises

  July 12, 2016  
Four years after The Bullet Vanishes, Lau Ching Wan and Nicholas Tse team up again in the anticipated crime thriller Heartfall Arises. Produced by Wilson Yip and helmed by first-time director Wu Pinru, the film integrates both action and psycho drama into its story about a police officer and criminal psychologist investigating a massive serial murder case. Besides the two award-winning Hong Kong actors, the film also co-stars actresses Tong Liya and Mavis Fan and up-and-coming actor Gao Weiguang.

In the film, Nicholas Tse plays hotshot detective Ma who is critically injured while pursuing a serial killer known as "General." With his life on the line, Ma undergoes a heart transplant. A year and a half later, numerous murder cases similar to General's cruel methods continue to occur around the world, even though General is supposedly dead. Ma, despite not being fully recovered, teams up with Lau Ching Wan's criminal psychology professor Che to investigate the serial killings. However, in the course of the investigation, the two begin to engage in a tense battle of wits. Ma discovers that Che is harboring a secret while Che displays especial interest in Ma's heart transplant.

Heartfall Arises opens in China on August 19.

Text / Sanwei

Kim Woo Bin and Suzy return to small screen with Uncontrollably Fond

  June 28, 2016  
Three years since their last dramas, Kim Woo Bin (The Heirs) and miss A's Suzy (Gu Family Book) return to the small screen with KBS's Uncontrollably Fond, which marks their first collaboration. Following the hit Descendants of the Sun, Uncontrollably Fond is KBS's second drama to be completely pre-produced before its premiere. Directed by Park Hyun Seok (Spy) and written by Lee Kyung Hee (The Innocent Man), the romantic drama unfolds the love story between a documentary producer and a top star who meet again after years of separation. The drama also co-stars Im Ju Hwan (Oh My Ghost) and Lim Joo Eun (What's Up).

Uncontrollably Fond stars Suzy and Kim Woo Bin as former lovers No Eul and Shin Joon Young who separated due to an ill-fated relationship. Years later, No Eul becomes a documentary producer but gets involved in a corruption case that severely tarnishes her reputation. The terribly depressed No Eul then re-encounters her first love Joon Young, who has turned into an arrogant superstar. Joon Young unconditionally transfers the ownership of his reality show's copyright to No Eul, which leads to speculation about Joon Young being threatened by No Eul who will earn substantial revenue from the rights. However, No Eul gives up all the rights and disappears.

Uncontrollably Fond is slated for simultaneous release in Korea, China, U.S., Taiwan and Hong Kong on July 6.

Text / Pisces

Andy Lau and Bai Baihe crowned at China Huabiao Film Awards

  June 27, 2016  
The 16th Huabiao Awards, one of China's top film awards, was held in Beijing on June 24. Andy Lau and Bai Baihe were crowned Best Actor and Best Actress for their respective roles as a father searching for his missing son in Lost & Love, and a terminally ill comic artist in Go Away Mr. Tumor. Following wins at the Golden Rooster Awards and the Hong Kong FIlm Awards, Tsui Hark received another Best Director prize for his period action-adventure The Taking of Tiger Mountain.

Lost & Love and The Taking of Tiger Mountain also both made the top ten shortlist of Outstanding Feature Films along with Jean-Jacques Annaud's period epic Wolf Totem, Wu Jing action film Wolf Warrior, war film The Hundred Regiments Offensive, fantasy blockbuster Monster Hunt, Dante Lam's cycling film To the Fore, crime drama Saving Mr. Wu, Peter Chan's Dearest and animated hit Monkey King: Hero is Back. Meanwhile, Go Away Mr. Tumor was recognized with the Young Filmmaker Creation Award.

Land Records, a drama about rural villagers resisting land encroachment by real estate speculators, won Best Screenplay. In the technical categories, Zhang Yimou's Coming Home picked up Best Music and John Woo's The Crossing 2 won Best Cinematography.

Text / Sanwei

Kubota Masataka to star in Tokyo Ghoul live-action adaptation

  June 27, 2016  
Ishida Sui's dark fantasy manga Tokyo Ghoul will be adapted into a live-action film starring Kubota Masataka, who recently played the lead role of Yagami Light in the 2015 Death Note TV series.

Set in a world in which super-powered ghouls that subsist on human flesh secretly live amongst humans, Tokyo Ghoul was published in Weekly Young Jump from 2011 to 2014, and its sequel Tokyo Ghoul:re has been serialized since 2014. The Tokyo Ghouls series has a combined circulation of over 18 million copies, and it has already inspired an anime, stage plays and video games.

The protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki Ken, is a normal college student who turns into a half-ghoul after surviving a near-death encounter with a ghoul. At a loss over his newfound powers and appetite for flesh, he gets taken in by the proprietors of a ghoul cafe and gradually learns how to adapt and survive in the company of both ghouls and humans. He also gets drawn into the battle against the government force tasked with wiping out ghouls.

Besides Kubota Masataka as Ken, Shimizu Fumika from HK: Forbidden Super Hero and NHK morning drama Mare has been announced in the female lead role of Kirishima Toka, a ghoul who reluctantly helps Ken acclimate to his new existence. The Tokyo Ghoul live-action film will mark the directorial debut of Hagiwara Kentaro, who previously directed commercials, music videos and short films.

Tokyo Ghoul begins filming in July, and is slated for a summer 2017 release.

Text / tabo
Translation / Sanwei

Sodagreen, JJ Lin and Julia Peng win at 27th Golden Melody Awards

  June 27, 2016  
The 27th Golden Melody Awards was held in Taipei on June 25. Sodagreen became the biggest winner with five prizes including Best Mandarin Album, Best Band, Best Album Producer, Best Musical Arranger and Best Lyricist, thanks to their highly acclaimed album Winter Endless.

JJ Lin was crowned Best Mandarin Male Singer for the second time and won Best Composer for "Twilight." Defeating strong competitors Tanya Chua and A-mei Chang, Julia Peng finally took her first Best Mandarin Female trophy twenty years since her debut. "Darling" also earned her Best Single Producer. Beating out Hebe Tien's "A Little Happiness" and A-mei Chang's "Matriarchy," indigenous artist Suming's song "Don't Give Up" walked away with Song of the Year.

Eli Hsieh (Progress Reports) won Best Newcomer, while multi-nominated rookie group Chang and Lee was selected as the Best Group for their self-titled album. Jacky Chen garnered Best Hokkien Male Singer and Best Hokkien Album (Columbia) and Huang Fei triumphed in the Best Hokkien Female Singer race. Best Music Video award went to Sandee Chan's "If Sorrow Is Downloaded Twice."

In the technical categories, Chinese singer Cui Jian received the Best Vocal Recording Album prize, while puppetry film The Arti: The Adventure Begins bagged Best Instrumental Recording Album. Lim Giong was recognized as the Best Instrumental Album Producer for The Assassin's original soundtrack. Diva Tracy Huang, who has released 51 albums, was honored with this year's Lifetime Contribution Award.

Text / Garden
Translation / Pisces

Yoo Seung Ho leads a fraud ring in Seondal: The Man who Sells the River

  June 22, 2016  
Yoo Seung Ho, who played Joseon's greatest magician in The Magician, turns into a notorious con man in Seondal: The Man who Sells the River, based on a classic novel about Joseon's well-known swindler Kim Seon Dal. Director Park Dae Min (Private Eye) brings the tale to the silver screen again almost 60 years after Han Hong Yeol's Bong-I Kim Seondal was released in 1957. Different from his typical image as a middle-aged man, Kim Seon Dal is depicted as a dashing youth in the comedic period film, which also stars Cho Jae Hyun (The Fatal Encounter), Ko Chang Seok (The Con Artists), Ra Mi Ran (The Himalayas) and EXO member Xiumin in his big screen debut.

Kim Seon Dal (Yoo Seung Ho), who transforms himself into a hunter with the help of camouflage master Bo Won (Ko Chang Seok), begins his con business by selling a rooster as a phoenix at a high price. Banding together with fake shaman Yoon Bo Sal (Ra Mi Ran) and the fraud ring's youngest member Kyun Yi (Xiumin), the greedy group disguise themselves as monks and put an astronomical observatory on sale. Seon Dal also dresses up as the King to steal gold from the palace. However, the master fraudster's ultimate goal is to make a big deal with Joseon's most powerful man Sung Dae Ryeon (Cho Jae Hyun) by selling off the ownerless Daedong River.

Seondal: The Man who Sells the River opens in Korea on July 6.

Text / Pisces

Produce 101's Chinese version to premiere in late June

  June 8, 2016  
Produced by well-known Taiwan actor Ming Dao's Mid Entertainment, China's largest streaming video platform QQLive and Dongyu Entertainment, reality-competition program The Best Girl Group, the Chinese version of the Korean show Produce 101, is a large-scale project to create a new C-pop girl group. Mnet's Produce 101 launched the hot-topic K-pop idol group IOI right after the show finished, and the Chinese version will be looking to emulate the success.

Fifty contestants were selected through auditions in seven cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xiamen and Taipei starting in April. After online voting, the top 30 contestants entered the second round of the competition and received intensive vocal, dance and strength training for ten days in May. The 20 most voted contestants will compete for the final six spots in the upcoming star-making show.

Helmed by top Taiwan variety show director Zhang Zhi Peng, The Best Girl Group focuses on the contestants' transformation process from ordinary people into super idols. Led by Ming Dao, the trainers include Mocika Li from the Chinese singing contest Super Girl and Chinese boy band M.I.C.'s Chi Yuehan. More than 20 famous artists will also participate in the show.

BEAST member Yong Jun Hyung participated in composing and writing the theme song for the Chinese web survival show. The song marks the singer-songwriter's first track promoted in China.

The Best Girl Group is scheduled to premiere on QQLive on June 26 and the Yong Jun Hyung-penned theme song was released on Chinese online music platform QQMusic on June 6.

Text / Pisces

The 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards winners

  June 6, 2016  
The winners of the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards were announced on June 3 in Seoul. tvN drama Signal and hit KBS drama Descendants of the Sun both took three awards and became the biggest winners in the Television section. Signal garnered Best Drama, Best Screenplay (Kim Eun Hee) and Best Actress (Kim Hye Su). Descendants of the Sun received the Grand Prize and Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo were named Most Popular Actor and Actress. Answer Me 1998, which had led with nine nominations, took only two prizes including Best Director for Shin Won Ho and Best New Actor for Ryu Jun Yeol.

For other acting prizes, Yoo Ah In (Six Flying Dragons), who triumphed over Jo Jin Woong, Joo Won, Nam Gung Min and Song Joong Ki, was crowned Best Actor in the television category for the first time, while Cheese in the Trap's Kim Go Eun was honored with Best New Actress. Though Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo lost out in the race of Best Actor and Best Actress, they both picked up the iQiyi Global Star Award, a special prize created in 2015.

Lee Joon Ik, the director of the period dramas The Throne and Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet, gained the Grand Prize in the Film section. The most nominated films Assassination and Veteran won Best Film and Best Director (Ryoo Seung Wan) respectively, while the Best Screenplay prize went to rookie director Ahn Gook Jin's dark indie drama Alice in Earnestland.

Lee Byung Hun, who won Best Actor at the Asian Film Awards, secured his second acting prize for his role as a vengeful political fixer in the crime thriller Inside Men. Jeon Do Yeon also earned another Best Actress award for her performance in the romantic noir thriller The Shameless. The Best Supporting Actor winner is Lee Kyung Young (Minority Opinion), while Ra Mi Ran (The Himalayas) was recognized as the Best Supporting Actress.

Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet's Park Jung Min acquired his first Best New Actor prize, while Park So Dam added the fifth trophy to her Best New Actress collection thanks to her impressive acting in the supernatural mystery thriller The Priests. Coin Locker Girl's Han Jun Hee edged out other rising directors and came out on the top in the Best New Director race. EXO's D.O. (Pure Love) and miss A's Suzy (The Sound of a Flower) walked away with the Most Popular Actor and Actress prizes, respectively.

Text / Pisces

Ohno Satoshi to make period film debut as Sengoku-era ninja

  June 3, 2016  
Arashi's Ohno Satoshi will make his period film debut as a Sengoku-era ninja in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the novel Shinobi no Kuni. The film reteams Ohno with director Nakamura Yoshihiro six years after Kaibutsu-Kun. The novel's original author Wada Ryu will serve as the screenwriter for the film version of Shinobi no Kuni.

Shinobi no Kuni revolves around the battle between the storied ninjas of Iga Province and Oda Nobunaga's forces in the late 16th century. In 1579, Oda Nobunaga's son Oda Nobukatsu led an army of 8,000 in an attack against the Iga, but the outnumbered ninja clan successfully repelled Oda's army with their superior fighting skills and battlefield prowess. Ohno takes on the fictional role of Mumon, a seemingly lazy and unmotivated ninja who actually harbors great powers that are unleashed in times of battle.

Shinobi no Kuni, which begins shooting in July, is slated for a summer 2017 release.

Text / Sanwei

Director Park Chan Wook returns with erotic thriller The Handmaiden

  May 26, 2016  
Three years after his English-language directorial debut Stoker, award-winning filmmaker Park Chan Wook returns to Korean cinemas with the highly acclaimed erotic thriller The Handmaiden, which earned him his third Palme d'Or nomination at the Cannes Film Festival following Old Boy and Thirst. Starring Kim Min Hee (Right Now, Wrong Then) as a wealthy Japanese heiress, rookie star Kim Tae Ri as a maid, Ha Jung Woo (Assassination) as a fake count and Jo Jin Woong (A Hard Day) as the heiress's uncle, the film is an adaptation of Welsh author Sarah Waters's notable lesbian crime novel Fingersmith about the love between a rich heiress and her maid.

In 1930s Korea, Lady Hideko (Kim Min Hee), who lives with her uncle (Jo Jin Woong) in a luxurious mansion, becomes the sole heiress to her family fortune. In an attempt to seize the heiress's wealth, a swindler (Ha Jung Woo) pretends to be Count Fujiwara and hires pickpocket Sook Hee (Kim Tae Ri) to become her maid. Though Sook Hee is given the mission to convince Lady Hideko to marry Count Fujiwara, she finds herself sexually attracted to her new mistress.

While retaining the original novel's suspense and plot structure, Park relocates the story from Victoria-era London to Japanese-occupied Korea. Following the style of Park's "Vengeance Trilogy," The Handmaiden features elements of revenge and forbidden sexuality. Apart from the dark side of human nature and difference in social class, Park focuses on issues of sexuality and morality to bring crime and romance together in the film. Through the costumes, set design and depiction of language and lifestyles at the time, the auteur also wants to show Korea's development towards modernization.

Published in 2002, Fingersmith was nominated for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and Booker Prize for Fiction, and won the CWA Historical Dagger award. The novel has been adapted into a 2005 BBC drama starring Sally Hawkins, Elaine Cassidy and Rupert Evans, and a 2015 stage play written by Alexa Junge.

The Handmaiden has been pre-sold to 116 countries and is set to open in Korea on June 1, 2016.

Text / Pisces

Warner Bros announces live-action Fullmetal Alchemist starring Yamada Ryosuke

  May 25, 2016  
Warner Brothers has announced production for the live-action adaptation of Arakawa Hiromu's best-selling fantasy action-adventure manga Fullmetal Alchemist. Hey! Say! JUMP's Yamada Ryosuke, who recently headlined the Assassination Classroom live-action movie series, takes the leading role of alchemist Edward Elric. Sori Fumihiko, who has helmed the manga adaptations Tomorrow's Joe and Ping Pong, will direct.

Serialized from 2001 to 2010, Fullmetal Alchemist is set in a Europe-inspired alternate world in which alchemy holds great scientific importance and transmutation is strictly regulated. Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric pay a grave personal cost when they attempt human transmutation to save their mother. The technique, which is forbidden by law, backfires and Edward's limbs and Alphonse's body are destroyed in exchange. To find a way to revive Alphonse, Edward joins the military as a state alchemist outfitted with armored prostheses and embarks on a search for the powerful Philosopher's Stone. Fullmetal Alchemist has previously inspired two anime series, two animated films and multiple video games.

Besides Yamada Ryosuke, Honda Tsubasa co-stars as Edward's childhood friend and mechanic Winry Rockbell and Dean Fujioka as Colonel Roy Mustang, a state alchemist and the leader of Edward's squadron. Other cast members include Kohinata Fumiyo as General Hakuro, Sato Ryuta as Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes, Renbutsu Misako as First Lieutenant Risa Hawkeye, Natsuna as Second Lietunant Maria Ross, Harada Natsuki as Maes Hughes's wife Gracia, Kunimura Jun as Dr. Marcoh and Oizumi Yo in a special appearance as Major Shou Tucker. As for the antagonist Homunculi, artificial humans with superpowers created from Philosopher's Stones, Hongo Kanata has been cast as Envy, Matsuyuki Yasuko as Lust and Uchiyama Shinji as Gluttony.

Slated for a winter 2017 release, Fullmetal Alchemist will begin shooting in Italy in early June.

Text / Sanwei

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