Black Butler Film Casts Model Louis Kurihara as Undertaker

posted on by Egan Loo
NANA/Tiger & Bunny directors designed extravagant costume for Zekkyō Gakkyū/Daily Lives of High School Boys actor

Fashion model Louis Kurihara will play a mysterious undertaker named Jay in the live-action film based on Yana Toboso's Black Butler manga. An original character inspired by the manga, Jay is an otherwordly figure of indeterminable age who lives in the underworld of society. Directors Kentaro Otani (NANA) and Keiichi Satou (Tiger & Bunny, Karas, Asura) designed Jay's eccentric outfit, topped with an extravagant top hat made-to-order for the character.

Kurihara said he felt both joy and anxiety when he received the offer for the role. He personally was delighted that the male lead Hiro Mizushima is returning to acting after three years, but he himself has not had much acting experience prior to this film. When he entered the film's sets, he felt like he was in a child's dream, like something out of a Tim Burton movie. He said that talking to Mizushima and female lead actress Ayame Gōriki helped him understand his role. He complimented his costumes, especially the top hat, and admitted to wanting to take all of it home (although he had no idea how much it would cost.)

Kurihara made his film acting debut in this past March's adaptation of Emi Ishikawa's horror manga Zekkyō Gakkyū, and he is starring this fall's live-action film adaptation of another manga, Yasunobu Yamauchi's gag comedy Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijō (Daily Lives of High School Boys).

The film also stars Hiro Mizushima as the demonic butler Sebastian, Gōriki as Sebastian's new master Shiori, Mizuki Yamamoto as the maid Lin, and Yuka as Shiori's aunt Hanae.

While the original manga is set in 19th century England, this new film is set more than 130 years later in 2020, in an Asian city where Western and Asian cultures freely intermingle. Since only males can take the reins of the Phantomhive family, Shiori dons male clothes and the name Kiyoharu to lead the massive Phantom Corporation.

Mizushima (Zettai Kareshi - Kanzen Muketsu no Koibito Robot) plays Sebastian Michaelis, a demonic butler with impeccable knowledge, manners, grace, cooking skills, martial arts, looks, and more. Like Ciel in the manga, Shiori has a seal in her right eye as a symbol of her contract with Sebastian. Sebastian watches over and protects Shiori, but at a price — he consumes her soul.

The film will open early next year.

The manga debuted in Square Enix's Monthly G Fantasy magazine in 2006, and its 16 volumes thus far have 15 million copies in print, including those published in 42 countries and territories. The manga already inspired a television anime series in 2008, a television anime sequel in 2010, and a stage play in 2009. (Junichi Suwabe played the similar Undertaker role in the anime.)

The manga received the top prize in the shōnen manga category of France's Japan Expo Awards in 2010 and the Best International Manga Award in Germany's Animagic in 2011. Yen Press will release the 14th volume in the series in North America this month.

Source: Comic Natalie

Images © 2014 Yana Toboso/Square Enix © 2014 Black Butler the Movie Production Committee

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