November 09, 2011 1:42pm PT by Jay A. Fernandez
Sonny Chiba Cuts Four-Picture Deal With Assembly Line (Exclusive)
Iconic Japanese martial arts master Sonny Chiba has signed a four-picture deal with Assembly Line. The 72-year-old actor-director will kick off the pact by co-starring with Tony Todd in the action drama Bushido.
Based on an original story from Chiba, Bushido follows a band of Buffalo Soldiers and Japanese samurai serving together in the American Civil War. Assembly Line partners Neal Fischer, Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton and Suren M. Seron will produce. Three more action projects will follow.
“This first project falls right up the alley of why Assembly Line was assembled, to create high quality films in a variety of genres," said the Gersh-repped Pfaff (Millionaire Matchmaker). "We couldn't be happier to be partnering with a legend such as Sonny Chiba.”
Chiba and Assembly Line previously teamed on Sushi Girl, which was written by Pfaff and Saxton, who also directed. Todd, Chiba, Mark Hamill, Michael Biehn, Danny Trejo and Jeff Fahey star in the thriller.
Assembly Line is also developing Catalytic, Todd's directorial debut about a magician's road trip on the eve of a supernatural apocalypse.
Chiba has been making movies, including Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Executioner, for 50 years.