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Variety: Takeshi Kitano to Direct New Film ‘Neck’, May Be His Final Film as Director

Takeshi Kitano

According to a report from Variety, Takeshi Kitano may be working on a new film, Neck (Kubi), that may end up being the prolific creator’s final film in the director’s chair.

Takeshi Kitano has had a prolific and successful career as a comedian, actor, and director. He rose to prominence as one of Japan’s most popular comedians before the Japanese variety show whose localization became popular around the world: Takeshi’s Castle. At the end of the 1980s and the 1990s, however, he centered his work on acting and directing, working on a number of mature and emotional works that shot him to critical and commercial acclaim, even winning him an award at Venice Film Festival for Zatoichi. Takeshi Kitano’s most recent work, however, Neck, may be the last with the man behind the director’s chair.

Based on the report from Josei Jishin as reported by Variety, Neck would be a period action film based on Takeshi Kitano’s 2019 novel of the same title. The novel is based on the Honnoji Incident of 1582, where Oda Nobunaga was assassinated in a temple in Kyoto. Characters like Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Sorori Shinzaemon feature in the book which starts prior to the assassination.

Since Neck might be the director’s final film, a major cast is supposedly being assembled, with the same report noting that Ken Watanabe will star in the film. Ken Watanabe is known for starring in films like Tanpopo and 2014’s Shin Godzilla, and in international productions like Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

No date has been given for the film, which at this time still remains an unconfirmed report. Yet, since Kitano also stepped down from the production company he founded in 2018, it would be understandable for this self-adaptation to be his last film working behind the camera.

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