Dai Watanabe takes field for 'Soukeisen'


TOKYO -- Like father, like son.

Dai Watanabe, son of "Letters From Iwo Jima" star Ken Watanabe, is following in his father's footsteps, taking the lead role in a World War II-era movie.

Filming is under way in the northern Japanese prefecture of Nagano on "Saigo no Soukeisen," the tale of two rival university baseball teams playing their final match before being sent off to war. Set in 1943, the picture is being directed by Seijirou Kouyama.

The 23-year-old made his acting debut in 2002 and has appeared in several war movies.

Dai Watanabe's credits include the huge 2005 hit "Yamato," about the sinking of Japan's super-battleship in the dying days of the war, and "For Those We Love," an unashamedly nationalistic movie depicting the last days of a unit of kamikaze pilots. That film was written by Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara.

"Saigo no Soukeisen" is being distributed here by Cine Qua Non.