The great Takashi Miike is making his way back to the horror genre with an as of yet to be titled new film focusing on one of Japan’s most famous ghost stories, Yotsuya Kaiden. Read on for the first details.
Miike directs from a screenplay by Kikumi Yamagishi (Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai, The Happiness of the Katakuris). Nobuyasu Kita (13 Assassins, Hara-kiri) rejoins Miike behind the camera as cinematographer with Toshiaki Nakazawa (13 Assassins, Departure) producing. Production designer Yuji Hayashida and composer Koji Endo are also join the crew. Celluloid Dreams/uConnect, the sales division of uMedia, has acquired the international rights for the project in Cannes.
Recognized in many contemporary representations including The Ring franchise, the evil spirit Oiwa appears in her white burial gown, straggled hair, and drooping eye from when she was maimed by poison. Originally presented on stage in the early 1800s, Yotsuya Kaiden has been remade and reconfigured many times, but the origins remain the most powerful and terrifying image to audiences, that of a chilling ghost able to span hell and earth to exact revenge on her murderers.
Miike’s untitled project blurs the line between reality and nightmare when an actor named Kosuke plays the lead role of “Iemon” (Ebizo Ichikawa; Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai) in a staged play of Yotsuya Kaiden. His lover Miyuki joins him on stage to play “Oiwa” (Hideaki Ito; Sukiyaki Western Django, Lesson of the Evil), but as they become engrossed in the performances, their personal life begins to disintegrate and their love, hate, and grudge for each other takes over. As the two worlds begin to meld, they are thrown into their own hell with the play beginning to horrifyingly unfold in real life.”
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