Matsuda Shota – star of “Hard Romanticker”

The latest film from director Gu Su-yeon (“Guuzen ni mo Saiaku no Shounen”) will star actor Matsuda Shota (25), it has been revealed. Titled “Hard Romanticker,” the film is based on Gu Su-yeon’s debut novel of the same name, a partially autobiographical account of his experiences as a second-generation Korean in Japan.

Matsuda plays the part of Gu, a high school dropout who works as a part-timer. He gets tangled in trouble through a gangster that he has known since he was a child (Maki Kurodo), leading to the involvement of a police detective (Watabe Atsuro).

For the role, Matsuda came up with the idea to dye his hair blond and slick it back. Filming started on April 29 and is planned to finish at the end of this month. The story is set in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi (where Matsuda’s father and legendary actor Matsuda Yusaku was born) and in Ogura, Fukuoka.

The supporting cast also features Nagayama Kento, Emoto Tokio, Maki Yoko, Watanabe Dai, Endo Yuya (D-BOYS), Ochiai Motoki (NAKED BOYZ), Ishigaki Yuma, Endo Kaname, Ashina Sei, Nakamura Shido, Hakuryu, Kaneko Nobuaki, Kawano Naoki, and Awaji Reiko.

“Hard Romanticker” is scheduled for release in early 2012.

Watanabe Dai stars in “Ramen Samurai”

Actor Watanabe Dai (26) is starring in a movie called “Ramen Samurai,” scheduled for release this October. The movie, which finished filming this week, is based on a magazine column that was written by the owner of a popular ramen shop.

The story is set in Kurume, Fukuoka, said to be the birthplace of tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen. Watanabe plays a young man working at a design firm in Tokyo who returns to his hometown after hearing of his father’s death. He is forced to take over his father’s ramen shop, despite having no confidence in making ramen and not getting along well with the shop’s workers. Relying on his mother’s and his own memories, he struggles to recreate the flavor of his father’s ramen.

Watanabe also plays the part of the father during his younger days. Yamaguchi Sayaka (31), who is originally from Fukuoka, plays the wife and mother by herself.

Segi Naoki (“KIZUKI,” “Sennenbi”) directed the film. Theatrical release is planned to start throughout Kyushu on October 22.