One of the most hotly anticipated movies of 2006 is Clint Eastwood’s war drama Flags Of Our Fathers. Ken Watanabe, the talented actor opposite Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, has been cast in the Japanese companion piece called Red Sun, Black Sand.

According to Variety, the films will tell the story of the famous WWII battle of Iwo Jima from each side. Steven Spielberg will produce both versions with Clint Eastwood directing, and Flags (adapted by Crash’s Paul Haggis) looks like it will hit theaters first.

Red Sun, Black Sand is written by Iris Yamashita and will be shot entirely in Japanese. The film revolves around real-life Japanese General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, played by Watanabe, who fought American troops for 40 days on the small island of Iwo Jima.

It will be fascinating to see how the companion pieces play out, and if both versions will be equally as sublime (or disastrous). If anyone can pull it off, Clint’s the man.

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