Tom Cruise Gets Co-Cast For 'The Last Samurai'

Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn and Timothy Spall will star opposite Tom Cruise in Warner Bros. Pictures' 19th century epic "The Last Samurai" for director Ed Zwick, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Written by John Logan, "Samurai" is an epic story set in the 1870s during the waning days of the traditional samurai warriors in Japan and the rise of the Meiji emperor at the time of the birth of modern Japan.

Cruise will star as U.S. soldier Capt. Nathan Algren, who is recruited to train the Japanese army to fight against the samurai. He is subsequently captured by the warriors, taught their ways of honorable battle and ends up siding with them.

Connolly will play Sgt. Zebulah Gant, Algren's friend who was injured during the war and now has a limp. Goldwyn will play Col. Benjamin Bagly, Algren's commanding officer during the Civil War who recruited him for the job. Spall will play Simon Graham, an English translator for Algren.

Production beings later this year in New Zealand before moving to Japan and the United States.

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