Japanese director remaking 'Crab-Canning' <br />

1920s novel became surprise literary hit this year

TOKYO -- "The Crab-Canning Ship" (Kanikosen), a 1920s novel that became the surprise literary hit of the year, is getting a movie remake directed by Sabu, with filming set to start by the end of November.

Ryuhei Matsuda will play the lead in the movie, which Sabu, also known as Hiroyuki Tanaka, said will be aimed at an international audience and have a more modern, pop-culture feel with darker humor than the 1953 version.

The novel, a tale of exploited workers on a crab factory ship, has sold 600,000 copies this year and has been credited with rising membership of the Japanese Communist Party among young, disaffected temporary and part-time workers.