EXCLUSIVE: Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla cast member Ken Watanabe has joined his upcoming New Regency film True Love in a role originally to have been played by Benedict Wong, following the latter actor’s departure due to scheduling conflicts.
Watanabe will share the screen with previously announced cast members including John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Allison Janney and Sturgill Simpson.
The latest film written and directed by Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Monsters) is billed as an original sci-fi story set in the near future. Specifics as to its plot and the role Watanabe is playing are currently undisclosed, with production underway.
Edwards is producing with his Rogue One collaborator Kiri Hart and New Regency, which has provided the film’s financing. His latest film sits on an upcoming slate from the company that also includes an untitled original film from David O. Russell starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Chris Rock and more; Adrian Lyne’s Deep Water, starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas; and Robert Eggers’ The Northman starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe.
Watanabe is best known for his supporting turn in Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai, for which he garnered Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in 2004. The actor will next be seen in the HBO Max series Tokyo Vice, which he exec produced alongside pilot director Michael Mann and more. He’s also featured on the film side in titles including Inception, Letters from Iwo Jima, Memoirs of a Geisha, Batman Begins, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, The King and I, Bel Canto, Isle of Dogs and The Sea of Trees, among others.
Watanabe is represented by WME, Activist Artists Management and K Dash in Tokyo.