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Ken Watanabe making his directorial debut with a World War II film?

5 years agoby:
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How badass is Ken Watanabe? Even if you've never seen him in a film, just look at that stare of his... burrowing into your very soul. That's how badass.

So if you're a fan of the man (BATMAN BEGINS, THE LAST SAMURAI) - or just this picture to the right - you may be interested and excited to learn that the actor may be getting into the director's chair to helm a World War II film entitled 442ND.

Film website Pajiba claims to have the inside skinny on the project, saying that Watanabe "is in early talks" to make his directorial debut.

"The independent project is one that would seem to suit the actor: Itís called 442nd, and itís about the true story of an American-Japanese military unit assembled during World War II and sent on virtual suicide missions in the European theater. For their efforts against the Nazis, that unit go on to become the most decorated unit in American military history."

Watanabe is no stranger to major military conflict on film; The man was the central star in Clint Eastwood's LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. Coincidentally, 442ND is being put together by Bill Gerber, the producer behind Eastwood's GRAN TORINO.

Watanabe will next be seen in another great director's film this summer: Chris Nolan's INCEPTION. If this directing rumor proves to be true, we'll at least know that the guy's had some great mentoring these past few years.
Extra Tidbit: Foreign film fans - What Watanabe joint would you recommend to those of us who only know him via his American films?
Source: Pajiba

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8:16PM on 06/02/2010
Watanabe is in Inception!??! Finally, I have one minuscule reason to see that movie.
Watanabe is in Inception!??! Finally, I have one minuscule reason to see that movie.
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6:37PM on 06/02/2010
Here's hoping this movie will be his "Braveheart", it sounds like a good idea to me.
Here's hoping this movie will be his "Braveheart", it sounds like a good idea to me.
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11:27AM on 06/02/2010

I'll take what WW2 flicks I can get, but...

... this was already filmed as "Go For Broke!" back in the fifties, and starred actual verterans of the 442nd. A new take should be interesting.
... this was already filmed as "Go For Broke!" back in the fifties, and starred actual verterans of the 442nd. A new take should be interesting.
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11:24AM on 06/02/2010
When most Asian actors make films in America, they are cast as stereotypes and cliches. Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat are kung fu stereotypes. I feel this is because they become famous in America due to their Chinese films. But only the popular Chinese films. When Ken went American, he came over as a well-respected, actor so he was cast in American movie as a person not a cliche. He's bucked the trend, I feel.
When most Asian actors make films in America, they are cast as stereotypes and cliches. Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat are kung fu stereotypes. I feel this is because they become famous in America due to their Chinese films. But only the popular Chinese films. When Ken went American, he came over as a well-respected, actor so he was cast in American movie as a person not a cliche. He's bucked the trend, I feel.
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10:29AM on 06/02/2010
When people mention Asian actors they always say Jackie Chan or Jet Li, but they fail to mention Ken Watanabe who's one of the best Asian actors of all time.
When people mention Asian actors they always say Jackie Chan or Jet Li, but they fail to mention Ken Watanabe who's one of the best Asian actors of all time.
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9:23AM on 06/02/2010
You know, why not! I like the guy, and idea sounds pretty interesting.
You know, why not! I like the guy, and idea sounds pretty interesting.
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