Hidetoshi Nishijima and Teruyuki Kagawa hold one of the most enduring and fruitful on-screen partnership in Japanese movies and dramas. Their recent team up as detectives in the WOWOW drama thriller MOZU has spawned a film version of the same name, but note that before Mozu, the actors were the reason for the critical acclaim bestowed on Double Face, the Japanese version/remake of the highly successful Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs."

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The intensity of their on-screen rivalry is eclipsed by their friendship in real life. Both are also accomplished actors - with Kagawa one of the lead stars in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's highly-praised Tokyo Sonata. So definitely, the on-screen collaboration between the players and Kurosawa has already begun way back then.

The actors reunite in the latest Kurosawa film, Creepy.

Based on the novel "Kuripi" by Yutaka Maekawa, it deals with the investigation of a missing family case, which is further complicated when the main character (Nishijima) got entangled with his new found neighbor who may also be involved in criminal acts.

The author made his debut as a fiction writer after winning the Japan Mystery Fiction Prize for New Writers in 2011 for this novel; the published book was voted number one in the New Writer Top Ten of the 2013 Konomys rankings.

One of the main cast of the film is Yuko Takeuchi, who teams up with Nishijima in Strawberry Nights, so no question on their on-screen chemistry either. Supporting cast includes Masahiro Higashide (who plays Nishijima's colleague in the investigation bureau while newcomer (and the lead star of Solomon's Perjury) Ryoko Fujino plays the daughter of Takeuchi and Kagawa. Haruna Kawaguchi rounds up the cast.

There were talks that Kurosawa revised the story for the movie version.

Here's more about the book:

Takakura, 46, teaches criminal psychology at a university and lives quietly with his wife Yasuko in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward. One day he receives a call from Nogami, a high-school friend who is now a police detective. Takakura is asked to assess the reliability of new testimony by Saki Honda in an eight-year-old case from Hino City, in which both of Honda’s parents and a sibling had disappeared. Three weeks later when Nogami comes to visit, he barely mentions the Hino case and seems interested only in talking about Takakura’s next-door neighbor Akio Nishino, and the elderly mother and daughter, the Tanakas, who live across the street. Subsequently, the Tanaka house burns down, and the bodies of mother and daughter, as well as, that of Nogami are found in the charred ruins—leading to much speculation about what may have taken place.

Meanwhile, Yasuko has growing doubts about Nishino. The man’s middle-school-age daughter Mio has told her that he is not her father. Yasuko has not seen Nishino’s wife nor his high-school-age son in quite some time. Then Mio shows up at the Takakuras’ door in the middle of the night asking for help. Nishino comes after her and demands she be sent home, with such a ferocious aspect that he doesn’t even look himself. Yasuko calls the police, but when they arrive, they are taken in by the cooperative stance Nishino adopts and brush aside Mio’s insistence that he is not her father, and that her brother is missing. In the end, Mio is taken to a children’s welfare center, but then Nishino barges into the center wielding a knife - kills the director and makes off with Mio. To add to these disturbing events, the body of Mio’s mother shows up in the Takakuras’ entrance hall missing a leg.

You can read more about the book synopsis here

While discussion about the movie's plot is here

Movies' narrative is as follows:

Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami (Masahiro Higashide), to examine a missing family case that occurred six years earlier. Takakura follows Saki's (Haruna Kawaguchi) memory. She is the only surviving family member from the case.

Meanwhile, Takakura and his wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi) recently moved into a new home. Their neighbor, Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa), has a sick wife and a young teen daughter. One day, the girl, Mio, jumps into Takakura's house and tells him that the man is not her father, and she doesn't know him at all. [ source ]

Whether there are significant changes in the movie is fine with me, this rumor made me more interested in the film. Just the fact that Kagawa's character is already quite sinister and yes, creepy to me, makes for a better acting showdown between the two actors.

The movie is slated for release in June 2016.

In case you want to explore the works of Kurosawa, I invite you to read Genkinahito's Kiyoshi Kurosawa Season and Biography.

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