Kairi Jo (13) and Rihiti Itagaki (17) are cast as Ray and Norman, respectively
After the surprising announcement for the live-action film adaptation of Kaiu Shirai (story) and Posuka Demizu (art)'s dark fantasy shonen manga Yakusoku no Neverland/The Promised Neverland, 19-year-old actress Minami Hamabe, who is cast as the protagonist Emma, expressed her feeling about playing the role on her official Twitter account.
"In The Promised Neverland film, I am playing the role of Emma. I have always loved the original manga. Because I love it, I felt the difficulty of adapting it into a live-action film. To make many people enjoy, we have been working on this film while facing various challenges sincerely. Some scenes are still unfinished, and I will do my best until the end."
映画『約束のネバーランド』にて— 浜辺美波 (@MINAMI373HAMABE) September 27, 2019
In fact, Hamabe is no stranger to live-action film adaptations based on popular Japanese manga anime. Her notable roles include:
- Meiko "Menma" Honma in Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2015)
- Saki Miyanaga in Saki (2016-2018)
- Ayuha Samaru in Sensei Kunshu (2018)
- Yumeko Jabami in Kakegurui (2018-2019)
As reported, while following the original manga's basic story, the shipping age of the children in the film is changed from the manga's 12 years old to 16. Hamabe plays Emma whose age is probably 15 years old in the beginning of the film, alongside 13-year-old Kairi Jo as Ray and 17-year-old Rihito Itagaki as Norman.
Itagaki also says on Twitter:
"I am playing Norman in The Promised Neverland film. In the winter of 2020, I will love everyone in GF with all my heart, and will definitely make the prison break successful. I know you may all have different opinions, but I appreciate if you can support us."
映画『約束のネバーランド』— 板垣李光人✖️スタッフ (@itagaki_rihito) September 27, 2019
The live-action film adaptation is directed by 47-year-old Yuichiro Hirakawa, who previously worked on the live-action film adaptation of Kei Sanbe's mystery manga Boku dake ga Inai Machi/Erased in 2016, on a screenplay penned by his Erased partner Noriko Goto. It is set to be released in Japan in the winter of 2020.
© Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu/SHUEISHA
© 2020 Movie "The Promised Neverland" Production Committe