Gary Oldman Versus the CIA in Rain Fall

I can watch Gary Oldman in pretty much anything, but add an interesting plot (hitman versus CIA!), a novel setting (shot entirely in Japan with mostly Japanese dialogue), and you got yourself a good night at the movies. The film in question is called “Rain Fall”, based on a series of novels by Barry Eisler that stars the main character John Rain, an ex-Vietnam Vet turned hitman, and Oldman is currently in negotiations to star alongside Japanese actors Shiina Kippei (last seen in the martial arts movie “Shinobi”) and Akiho Hasegawa.

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Adapted from a novel by best- selling American author Barry Eisler, pic is story of a hit man who is forced to protect the daughter of one of his victims against assassination by the CIA. Shiina Kippei (“Shinobi”) and Akiho Hasegawa star.

Japanese Satoru Iseki (“The Emperor and the Assassin,” “A Battle of Wits”) produces through his Tara Contents shingle and a special purpose vehicle with backing from Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and other equity investors.

“Rain Fall” will be the second directorial outing for scripter-helmer Max Mannix (“Dance of the Dragon”). Pic, to be lensed beginning next month, will be shot predominantly in Japanese, with 15% English dialogue.

Barry Eisler wrote a whole series of books around the John Rain character (six, according to his website), with the character originating from the Vietnam War to a life as an assassin living in Japan.

“Rain Fall” is one of the books, and Amazon.com has a better description of it:

John Rain, a Japanese American konketsu, or half-breed, learned his lethal trade as a member of the U.S. Special Forces. Although tortured by memories of atrocities he committed in Vietnam, he has become a paid assassin, a solitary man who lives in the shadows and trusts no one, even those who pay extraordinary sums for his ability to make murder look like natural death. But the aftermath of an otherwise routine hit on a government bureaucrat brings Rain to the attention of two men he knows from the old days in Vietnam: a friend who’s now a Tokyo cop and an enemy who betrayed Rain long ago and is now the CIA’s station chief in Japan. Like the gangster who hired Rain to kill Yasuhiro Kawamura, they want something the dead man had–a computer disk containing proof of high-level corruption, information that could destroy Japan’s ruling political coalition. The search for the disk leads them to a woman Rain has come to love, a talented young jazz musician who also happens to be Kawamura’s daughter. In this taut, brilliantly paced debut thriller, set in a vividly rendered Tokyo, the author manages an unlikely feat; he earns the reader’s sympathy and concern for his protagonist, an amoral assassin who is one of most compelling characters in recent crime fiction.

I’m not sure if Oldman is in negotiations to play the titular Rain, but if I had to guess, I would say no. Oldman will probably play an older character in the film, with a younger actor brought in to play the Rain character. Why? Because the producers have a lot of books to work with (re: potential sequels), and they’re probably eyeing a “Bourne”-like franchise here.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong and the filmmakers will allow John Rain to be the old assassin that he seems to be in the books (if he learned to kill in the Vietnam War, he’s gotta be pretty old, Rambo-esque, right?) Yeah, right, that’s gonna happen. Hollywood is obsessed with making characters young enough to shoulder a burgeoning franchise.

Gary Oldman Versus the CIA in Rain Fall