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Live-Action Space Battleship Yamato Film's Cast Listed (Update 3)

posted on by Egan Loo
Returner's Yamazaki to direct; 2 male anime characters are now female

The Sankei Sports newspaper has listed the main cast for the live-action film adaptation of the space opera anime classic, Space Battleship Yamato (adapted as Star Blazers in English). As previously revealed, SMAP band member Takuya Kimura (Howl's Moving Castle's Howl) will lead the cast as the main hero Susumu Kodai. Takashi Yamazaki, the director best known for Returner, Always: Sunset on Third Street, and this year's Ballad, will helm the project for a December 2010 release. The TBS production company has been planning this project for the last five years. Shooting begins in the middle of this month.

Erika Sawajiri (SHINOBI's Hotarubi) was originally casted as the female lead character Yuki Mori, but she has since been dismissed and replaced by Meisa Kuroki (Vexille - 2077 Isolation of Japan's Vexille, Crows Zero's Luca). The main cast of characters has changed since the original anime; the Yuki character will have a more active fighting role, and two of anime's main male characters are female in the live-action version. TBS has yet to announce who will play the fan-favorite antagonist character Desslar. The rest of the main cast are as follows:

Cast Role Role's Position
Takuya Kimura Susumu Kodai Yamato's tactical unit leader
Meisa Kuroki Yuki Mori Yamato's tactical unit's Black Tiger Team
Toshiro Yanagiba Shirō Sanada Yamato's chief science officer
Naoto Ogata Daisuke Shima Yamato's chief navigator
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi Hajime Saitō Yamato crew member, air cavalry leader
Maiko Aihara* Yamato crew member, communications unit
Shinichi Tsutsumi Mamoru Kodai Susumu's older brother, Yukikaze destroyer's captain
Reiko Takashima Dr. Sado* Yamato's ship doctor
Isao Hashizume Heikurō Tōdō Earth Defense Force Commander-in-Chief
Toshiyuki Nishida Hikozaemon Tokugawa Yamato's chief engineer
Tsutomu Yamazaki Jūzō Okita Yamato's captain
*Male characters in the original work who are female in the live-action film

The original anime follows the voyages of the World War II battleship Yamato after it is resurrected as a space-faring ship to fend off alien threats to Earth. The first television series premiered in October of 1974 — before Kimura celebrated his second birthday. The first animated film then opened in 1977 and earned 2.1 billion yen (about US$23 million) at the box office. The anime franchise later garnered a record instantaneous television rating of 50% in 1978.

In a separate project from the live-action film, 74-year-old producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki is planning to revive the anime franchise this December with the animated Uchuu Senkan Yamato Fukkatsu-hen film.

Update: The live-action film will use computer graphics and is budgeted at over 2 billion yen (US$22 million).

Update 2: Sanada's position corrected. Thanks, penguintruth.

Update 3: The Daily Sports newspaper reports that 80% of the scenes will incorporate the "latest computer graphics technology" to recreate space. Filming will begin on October 12 and will end within this year. Computer graphics, editing, and other elements of post-production will take nine months before TOHO opens the film in December of 2010.

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