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Oguri, Nagasawa star in mountain climbing movie "Gaku"

Fri, March 19, 2010 (12:56am EDT)

Around the start of this year, it was revealed that Shinichi Ishizuka's mountaineering manga "Gaku: Minna no Yama" is being turned into a live-action film. Now, the starring cast has been unveiled as well: Shun Oguri (27) and Masami Nagasawa (22).

Osamu Katayama ("Heat Island") is directing the movie. The manga, which won in the 54th Shogakukan Manga Awards last year, follows a young climber named Sanpo (Oguri) who is a volunteer for a mountain rescue team. Nagasawa plays Kumi, a newcomer to the team.

Oguri is said to have had a fear of heights, but he overcame it during his training for the role, which he started at the end of December under the supervision of a professional mountain guide. Last month, he made it to the top of the 2.76km-tall Mount Io, despite freezing temperatures, heavy winds, and snow. Nagasawa, who also underwent training in the snowy mountains, had to cut her long hair by 30cm.

Other cast members include Kuranosuke Sasaki (42) as the rescue team chief, Takuya Ishida (23) as another team member, Atsuro Watabe (41) as an air rescue pilot, and Yoshie Ichige (59) as the manager of a mountain cottage.

Actual filming for the movie started on March 14 and is expected to last until July. Theatrical release will be sometime in 2011. The total production budget is said to be around 1 billion yen.

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