EXCLUSIVE: 47 Ronin and The Wolverine star Hiroyuki Sanada has been tapped to join Ian McKellen in A Slight Trick of the Mind, the drama about an aging Sherlock Holmes that Bill Condon is directing this summer in London. Sanada will play Umezaki, a Prickly Ash plant enthusiast who Holmes (McKellen) visits in Japan. He joins McKellen and Laura Linney as Holmes’ housekeeper, who with her young son is regaled with the tale of the unsolved mystery that ended Holmes’ career.
Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada, recently seen in The Wolverine, is set to co-star opposite Halle Berry in CBS’ upcoming summer drama series Extant, from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV and CBS Studios. Created by Mickey Fisher, it centers on an astronaut (Berry) who returns home from a year-long solo mission in space and tries to reconnect with her husband and son in their everyday life. Her experiences in space and home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history. Sanada will play a wealthy technological genius who put his wealth to work privatizing the world’s space programs into a single entity. The actor — repped by CAA, Axon Entertainment, Lighthouse Entertainment and Sheppard, Mullin — just finished voicing a character in Universal’s Despicable Me Minions spinoff and will next be seen as the chief Samurai Oishi in Universal Pictures’ 47 Ronin and the Weinstein Co’s The Railway Man.
Japan’s Hiroyuki Sanada is set to play Wolverine foe Shingen in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman and directed by James Mangold. Lauren Shuler-Donner, Kevin Feige, Jackman and Hutch Parker are producing the X-Men sequel, which begins production next month in Australia and later in Japan. In the Marvel comic universe, Shingen was a Japanese yakuza crime boss who also happened to be the father of Wolverine’s fiancee. Sanada just finished filming The Railway Man opposite Colin Firth and is also in Universal’s 47 Ronin, which will be released next February. He won the Japanese Oscar for The Twilight Samurai, and his credits include Rush Hour 3, City Of Your Final Destination, and The White Countess. He is repped by Lighthouse Entertainment and Axon Entertainment.
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As principal photography gears up for a Monday start on The Railway Man, Stellan Skarsgård and Hiroyuki Sanada have joined the cast. Colin Firth stars in the true story of Eric Lomax, a prisoner of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during World War II. Years later, he meets a woman (Kidman) who helps him face his demons — and his former tormentor, played by Sanada. Skarsgård plays Lomax’s wartime buddy. War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine also stars in the film from Burning Man director Jonathan Teplitzky. Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson adapted Lomax’s book. The film is a Pictres in Paradise/Archer Street co-production. Andy Paterson (Girl With A Pearl Earring), Chris Brown (The Proposition) and Bill Curbishley (Quadrophenia) are producing. Executive producers are Claudia Blümhuber and Ian Hutchinson from Silver Reel, Zygi Kamasa for Lionsgate UK, Anand Tucker and Daria Jovicic. Lionsgate UK will release locally. Transmission has Australia and New Zealand. Lionsgate International is handling foreign sales. Lionsgate UK and CAA are handling U.S. rights. Skarsgård will next be seen in The Avengers. Sanada, who recurs on ABC’s Revenge, next stars with Keanu Reeves in Universal’s 47 Ronin, whose release was just pushed back to February 2013.