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Manga-Based Space Bros./Uchū Kyōdai to Film in Florida

posted on by Egan Loo
Hana-Kimi's Shun Oguri, Masaki Okada play aspiring astronaut brothers in 2012 film

The Japanese crew and cast from the live-action movie adaptation of Chūya Koyama's Uchū Kyōdai (Space Brothers) manga will film for six days in June at Florida's Brevard County, home of the John F. Kennedy Space Center. While the Florida Today newspaper does not specifically say that the two main leads, Shun Oguri (Hana-Kimi, Hana Yori Dango [2005], Fullmetal Alchemist movie [2005]) and Masaki Okada (Hana-Kimi, BokuKimi, Mahō Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto), will be personally travelling to Florida, it does report that Japanese actors, including the "stars," and a Japanese crew of 20 will be filming with about 20 local acting extras.

The story follows two brothers, Mutta (Oguri) and Hibito (Okada), who made a vow as kids to travel to space. The younger brother Hibito did become an astronaut, but not Mutta. However, Mutta's life changes one fateful day.

The Japanese crew already went to Brevard to scout locations and do secondary photography without the stars in February and April. 15 to 20 minutes of the film's final 90- to 120-minute length will be scenes shot in Florida, with the rest shot in Japan. That includes scenes at the Space Center, "Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a baseball field in Cape Canaveral, a residential area and a park in Cocoa Beach, and a swampy area of Cocoa near the St. Johns River."

In addition to the six days of principal photography in June, the Japanese crew will spend another week in Florida before and after shooting. The local company Communications Concepts is coordinating production in America with TOHO, the famed Japanese movie studio behind Uchū Kyōdai. In addition to hiring local extras, Communications Concepts is even casting the main characters' dog Apo (short for "Apollo") by finding one or two canine candidates in Florida that matches the dog already selected in Japan.

Koyama launched the manga in Kodansha's Morning magazine in 2007, and the 13th volume of the manga shipped in March. The manga ranked #2 for two years in a row for the Manga Taisho award, and it won a General Category award in the 56th Shogakukan Manga Awards in January. The film will open in Japan next spring.

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