Netflix is planning its next big-budget film for Japan, a major growing region for the global streaming company. Yuji Sakamoto, a famous drama screenwriter, has written a suspenseful rom-com frolic titled In Love and Deep Water (Tokyo Love Story, Kadin). The project, according to Sakamoto, is “a romantic comedy produced on an unparalleled scale” for the Japanese film industry. Yusuke Taki will direct, with Nikkatsu and Django Film managing Netflix’s local production.
The MSC Bellissima, a sizable luxury cruise ship bound for the Aegean sea, is where In Love and Deep Water takes place. Suguru, the Bellissima’s devoted butler, and Chizuru, a mysterious woman, meet while at sea as they work to solve a terrible murder-mystery that occurs early in the journey.
Suguru is played by Ryo Yoshizawa (Sakura, Kingdom), and Chizuru is played by Aoi Miyazaki (Future Family, Birthday Card). Yoh Yoshida as recently appointed captain Hatsumi; Rinko Kikuchi as an unfaithful film producer named Aina; Kento Nagayama as Shintaro, a young actor who wants to appear in a film shown at the Cannes Film Festival; Yuki Izumisawa as former yakuza member Ryuki; Aju Makita as Shiori, the daughter of a yakuza boss; Hatsunori Hasegawa as Sohei, the godfather Young stars Yunho as Kanato, the housekeeper’s son, and Rumika Ogai as Misaki and Michihiko’s daughter will also make cameos.
“I’d always wanted to make a film like that, but I never imagined I’d be able to,” Sakamoto says in a statement. “The dream I had given up on has come true with this film.” I believe viewers will have a dream-like experience with exquisite music, beautiful costumes, and delightful characters brought to life by the ultimate cast, beginning with Ryo Yoshizawa and Aoi Miyazaki. I hope you enjoy this luxurious and romantic ocean cruise.”
According to a survey by regional research firm Media Partners Asia, subscription streaming services in Japan had 48.4 million users at the end of the first quarter of 2022, with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video accounting for roughly half of the industry. Disney+ has been steadily gaining traction in Japan since its launch nearly two years ago, although it still lags well behind Netflix and Amazon, all of which debuted in the country years earlier.