Christensen retained for indie 'Bataan'


Hayden Christensen is starring in "Beast of Bataan," the true story of the trial of Masaharu Homma, the Japanese general who was implicated in the Bataan Death March.

Jonathan Sanger and Sarah Black will produce the period indie along with Christensen's production company Forest Park Pictures, headed by Tove Christensen.

Koji Yakusho, known to American audiences as the father of Rinko Kikuchi's character in "Babel," is in negotiations to portray Homma. Willem Dafoe and William Hurt also are in talks to join the film, which will be directed by Fred Schepisi.

Based on Lawrence Taylor's tome "A Trial of Generals," the story follows the aftermath of the 1942 Bataan Death March, in which 10,000 American and Filipino POWs died on a forced march to captivity. Christensen is playing Homma's young lawyer, trying his first case and fighting against the death penalty for his client, who is being tried for war crimes by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Chris Carlson and Mark Jean wrote the screenplay.

The independently financed production is eyeing a February start date in Australia.

Christensen and his company recently signed with Paradigm for representation in all areas. He next appears in "Jumper," Doug Liman's big-budget adaptation of the best-selling young-adult novel for Fox and Regency.