Distributor Toei announced its 2011 movie lineup on Wednesday. One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of a film with the working title "Shouwakusei Tansaki Hayabusa: Harukanaru Kikan," based on the space probe Hayabusa that returned to Earth last year.
Launched on May 9, 2003, Hayabusa was an unmanned probe sent to collect samples from the asteroid Itokawa. After traveling 6 billion kilometers over 7 years, Hayabusa successfully returned to Earth on June 13, 2010.
The movie will focus on the probe’s project team and their families. The director and the cast will be finalized soon, with filming anticipated to start this May. The release date has been set for 2012.
Toei’s 2011 lineup also includes previously announced films such as the animated "Tezuka Osamu no Buddha -Akai Sabaku yo! Utsukushiku-" and the Korea-Japan action film "My Way" starring Jang Dong-gun and Joe Odagiri.