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Tadanobu Asano Stars in Live-Action Kiki's Delivery Service

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Ichi the Killer, Lupin III actor plays veterinarian Dr. Ishi in film set to open on March 1

Tadanobu Asano (live-action Ichi the Killer, Lupin III) will play the veterinarian Dr. Ishi in the live-action film of Eiko Kadono's fantasy novel series Kiki's Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin). The character does not appear in Hayao Miyazaki's anime film adaptation of the books. The film's official Facebook page confirmed on Saturday that the first two volumes in Kadono's series provide the basis for the adaptation.

Dr. Ishi is a veterian who goes on frequent trips to further his research on animals. He is doing research on an island away from Koriko, the town where main characters Kiki and Tombo live. Dr. Ishi plays an important role as a "certain incident" occurs in Koriko's zoo.

Fūka Koshiba (Iki mo Dekinai Natsu) plays the title witch girl Kiki in the film. 16-year-old actor Ryōhei Hirota performs the critical role of Kiki's friend Tombo. Co-starring with Koshiba and Hirota is Machiko Ono (Suzaku, Like Father, Like Son) as Osono, the owner of the bakery where Kiki works. Hiroshi Yamamoto plays Osono's baker husband Fukuo, and Miho Kanazawa plays a woman named Saki who visits the bakery. Rie Miyazawa (Oceans, Hana, Peony Pavilion) plays Kiki's mother Kokiri, and Michitaka Tsutsui (Reunion, Ballad: Namonaki Koi no Uta, Shikoku) plays Kiki's father Okino. Satoko Okudera (Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Princess and the Pilot) is writing the script for the film.

Filming began on May 23 in a Tokyo studio, and it wrapped up in July. A 42-second teaser video began streaming in October, and Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web posted a second teaser earlier this month.

The six novel volumes of Majo no Takkyūbin follow the coming of age of Kiki with her black cat Jiji. They have sold 1.8 million copies and have been translated into eight languages, including English, Italian, Chinese, Swedish, and Korean.

Annick Press published the first novel with an English translation by Lynne E. Riggs in 2003. That same year, Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Disney released Ghibli's film on DVD in North America.

The film will open in Japan on March 1, 2014.

Source: Cinema Today

Image © 2014 Kiki's Delivery Service Film Partners

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