Weinsteins Talk "Shanghai" & "Samurai"

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Weinsteins Talk
The Weinstein Company has revealed some new details about two projects its producing with its $285 million Asian Film Fund says Variety.

"Shanghai" will be directed by Mikael Hafstrom ("1408," "Derailed") from a script by Hossein Amini ("The Wings of the Dove"). The story, set in 1941 China, will star John Cusack, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe.

Shooting will begin May 5th in London, then move to Thailand and possibly China for release on Christmas Day.

"Seven Samurai ...

You Won't Find "Shanghai" In China

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You Won't Find
The Weinstein Company's "Shanghai" has been forced to relocate to Thailand and England following its forced exit from China reports Variety.

The was in pre-production in China last month when it was denied the shooting permit it expected to receive. As a result, nearly $3 million in sets have effectively gone to waste.

Weinstein says "The (Chinese authorities') decision has everything to do with not liking the script, especially elements about (Chinese-Japanese) collaborati ...

Ken Watanabe Visits "Shanghai"

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Ken Watanabe Visits

Ken Watanabe will join John Cusack and Gong Li in the period drama "Shanghai" for The Weinstein Company reports Variety.

The drama, set four months prior to December 7th, 1941, follows an American who returns to a corrupt, Japan-occupied Shanghai to discover his friend has been killed.

While trying to solve the murder, he falls in love and discovers a much larger secret that his own government is hiding.

Mikael Hafstrom ("1 ...

Watanabe Is A Vampire "Freak"

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Watanabe Is A Vampire
Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire feature "Cirque du Freak" reports Variety.

Based on the bestselling twelve-book children's series by Darren Shan, Reilly will play a vampire who drafts a 14-year-old to serve as his assistant.

The youth is turned into a half-vampire and becomes the catalyst in a battle between vampires and the rival Vampanese.

Hayek will play Madame Truska, the bearded lady. Watanabe ...

Letters from Iwo Jima

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Letters from Iwo Jima
Sixty-one years ago, U.S. and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades later, several hundred letters are unearthed from that stark island's soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as well as the extraordinary general who led them, Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe). With little defense other than sheer will and the volcanic rock of the island itself, Gen. Kuribayashi's unprecedented tactics transform what was predicted to be a quick and bloody defeat into nearly 4 ...