One of our most-anticipated films in the Cannes Film Festival 2023 lineup is the latest work from Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano. Kubi, set to debut in the Cannes Premiere section and marking his first film since 2017’s Outrage Coda, has been on the filmmaker’s mind for the last thirty years, initially developing it around 1993’s Sonatine. The first trailer has now arrived ahead of the premiere and a subsequent Japanese release this fall.

Based on the director’s own novel, which was released in 2019, the period epic will follow the real-life Honno-ji Incident, in which famed warlord Oda Nobunaga was assassinated at a temple in Kyoto in 1582. Starring Asano Tadanobu, Nishijima Hidetoshi, and Kase Ryo, the film was originally reported to be the 76-year-old director’s final feature, but that sounds like it won’t be the case.

“If possible, I hope this movie will be a hit, and I hope to be able to shoot a few more,” the director said at a recent press conference. He added, “When you think of period dramas, you tend to think of historical dramas as historical dramas, but they are all about beautiful success stories, and they don’t depict the dirty parts and jobs of people. I made it. It took a lot of effort to complete it, but I think I was able to make it thanks to the staff and cast.”

“It is a rare film, on a scale similar to Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai and Kagemusha, with a tragicomic quality that feels Shakespearean,” said Natsuno Takeshi of Kadokawa, who will distribute the film in Japan.

Check out the trailer and poster below.

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