Clint Eastwood‘s WWII drama "Flags of Our Fathers" is due out this month, and Oscar-buzzers have been wondering when the film’s Japanese-language companion piece, "Letters From Iwo Jima," might also get a release. Mark your calendars for February!
The idea has been intriguing ever since word got out of Eastwood’s double-bill; while "Flags of Our Fathers" was to follow a trio of American soldiers present at the nation-solidifying flag raising at Iwo Jima, a second film entitled "Letters From Iwo Jima" would tell the story from the Japanese perspective. The films would be released within months of each other, giving audiences the chance to experience one moment in history (World War II) from both sides of the clash.
Well, with "Flags of Our Fathers" coming out in less than two weeks (released jointly by Paramount and DreamWorks October 20), it seems it was time to set a date. "Letters From Iwo Jima" will debut in Japan first on December 9, then cross the Pacific to the U.S. for a February 9 release.
This essentially puts "Letters" out of the running for the Oscars, although industry types have Eastwood and Co. are gunning for "Flags" to nab a nomination. The script for "Flags" was written by William Broyles Jr. (Oscar-nominated for co-writing "Apollo 13") and Paul Haggis (Oscar-winner for last year’s "Crash") and stars Ryan Phillippe, Adam Beach, and Jesse Bradford as three of the six men immortalized in the iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph.
The Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima" was written by screenwriter Iris Yamashita and stars Japanese actors Ken Watanabe and Shido Nakamura. Steven Spielberg serves as producer on both "Flags" and "Letters."