[UPDATE: This original story has been updated with an official press release, plot description, character names and high resolution cast photo. Check it all out after the jump.]

With Keanu Reeves set to star in Carl Erik Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin, by my math, still leaves about 46 Ronin to be cast. The 3D production is heating up and Variety is reporting that four more roles have been cast. Japanese actors Tadanobu Asano, Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi and Hiroyuki Sanada have all joined the film.

Asano is familiar to film geeks for his roles in Ichi the Killer, Mongol and Zatoichi among many others, plus he’s got a two big movies coming up, Thor and Battleship. Shibasaki was in Go, Battle Royale and the original One Missed Call. Kikuchi is known to American audiences from her leading roles in Babel and The Brothers Bloom and Sanada is best known for roles in The Last Samuari, Sunshine and as Dogen in the final season of Lost. Ken Watanabe was rumored to be a part of the film, but that is still just a rumor.

Read more about Rinsch’s 47 Ronin, scheduled for release Thanksgiving 2012, and this casting after the jump. Read More »


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norwegian woodI’m not sure how I missed the news that Haruki Murakami’s tremendous novel Norwegian Wood was being adapted to film, or that one of my favorite little-known directors, Tran Anh Hung (Cyclo, The Scent of Green Papaya), was helming the project. If so, my mind would have been slightly more prepared to absorb the casting news we’ve received today.

Kenichi Matsuyama, best known as L in the live action Death Note films, has been cast as Toru Watanabe, the main character in the film. More interesting to me (and I assume all of you) is the addition of Rinko Kikuchi, who has made her mark with Babel and The Brother’s Bloom, has been cast as Naoko, the emotionally trouble love interest who causes all sorts of heartache for Toru. The book is essentially a tale of Toru’s love life in his younger days, but as with everything Murakami it’s also so much more.

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