20th Century Boys Movies' Main Cast Confirmed in Japan
posted on by Egan Loo
This year's 10th issue (released on February 4) of Shogakukan's Weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine has confirmed the main cast of the live-action adaptation of Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys psychological suspense manga. The magazine also confirmed the adaptation will now be a trilogy of films. The Sankei Sports newspaper has posted a never-before-published poster image for the film trilogy.
Toshiaki Karasawa (Casshern's Brayking Boss) will star as Kenji, a man who must look back upon his childhood memories to uncover the secrets of a cult known only as "Friend." The "Friend" cult is linked to several deaths already and may cause multitudes more throughout the world. Karasawa said that he still remembers to this day the impact the books made when he first read them, and that he is honored to play the lead. Etsushi Toyokawa (Hula Girls) and Takako Tokiwa (Brave Story) will star as Kenji's childhood friends Otcho and Yukiji, respectively. Toyokawa promised to not let down Urasawa's fans, while Tokiwa expressed surprise and excitement over becoming Yukiji.
The first chapter will open in Japan on August 30. The entire trilogy is budgeted at 6 billion yen (about US$60 million), and the crew will film on location in 7 countries, including Japan, Thailand, America, England, and China. The simultaneous shooting of the first two chapters will last from January 3 until the end of June, and the third chapter's filming will last from the middle of August until the end of October. 42 companies have made offers to distribute this film in 34 countries and regions. Urasawa, who contributed on the script, said he was excited about the film project. In particular, the English rock band T.Rex has agreed to have its "20th Century Boy" song play as the trilogy's theme song. This 1973 song helped inspired the motif of Urasawa's original manga.
Viz Media was planning to release the manga version in North America in 2005, but the release was delayed by Urasawa's request to have his earlier Monster manga published first. Viz will publish the 16th of 18 Monster volumes on August 19. 20 million copies of the 20th Century Boys manga have been sold in Japan.