Takashi Miike’s newest Cannes darling, First Love, is coming to North America, and Well Go USA is all but on-top of things with its acquisition reported on Wednesday from THR. The film had its Directors’ Fortnight run in France and stars Masataka Kubota (Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo Ghoul: S), and actress Sakurako Konishi with Nao Omori (Ichi The Killer), Shota Sometani (Legend Of The Demon Cat), actress and singer Becky (Eight Ranger, Eight Ranger 2), and actors Jun Murakami (Aircraft Carrier Ibuki), Sansei Shiomi (Beyond Outrage, Outrage Coda) and Seiyo Uchino (13 Assassins).
First Love marks the fourth collaboration between Academy Award® winning producer Jeremy Thomas (THE LAST EMPEROR) and Takashi Miike (BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, HARA-KIRI and 13 ASSASSINS).
Set over one night in Tokyo, we follow Leo (Kubota), a young boxer down on his luck as he meets his ‘first love’ Monica (Konishi), a call girl and an addict but still an innocent.
Little does Leo know, Monica is unwittingly caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme, and the two are pursued through the night by a corrupt cop, a yakuza, his nemesis, and a female assassin sent by the Chinese triads.
All of their fates intertwine in Miike’s spectacular and anarchic style.
First Love was penned by Masaru Nakamura (Sukiyaki Western Django, The Bird People in China), and is also produced by Muneyuki Kii and Misako Saka with Shigeji Maeda, Hidehiro Itoh and Takara Kosugi all executive producing. Well Go USA will dole out the hit action thriller in select U.S. theaters in 2019 followed by a VOD and physical release at the top of 2020.
The news comes in the wake of a teaser announcement that arrived last month following its star-studded Fortnight premiere at Cannes and subsequent rave reviews, including THR who’ve called it a “Tarantino-style roller-coaster ride” that accentuates the cult Japanese director’s “lighter comic leanings over his bloodthirsty side.”
“Takashi Miike is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in international cinema today,” said [Doris] Pfardrescher, president and CEO of Well Go USA. “His new film, First Love, continues his extraordinary track record for interesting and provocative films and audiences will be blown away.”