Ken Watanabe will follow his Oscar-nominated performance in “The Last Samurai” by squaring off against Christian Bale in the upcoming Batman movie.
The untitled Warner Bros. project is scheduled to start production next month in London. Christopher Nolan (“Insomnia”) is directing.
Watanabe will play the villainous Ra’s Al Ghul, an immortal strategic mastermind who wants to bring his own brand of order to the world.
He joins Bale, cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Michael Caine as Wayne’s trusted butler Alfred; Katie Holmes as a childhood friend of Wayne’s; Liam Neeson as Wayne’s mentor Henri Ducard; and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, a former board member and sidelined employee of Wayne Enterprises.
Watanabe made his English-language debut with Warner Bros.’ “The Last Samurai,” though he has been acting since the early 1980s in Japan, where he is a household name, known for playing heroic samurai roles.