“Hachiko: A Dog’s Story,” starring Richard Gere, has started production in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Film and TV Office reports.
The movie, based on a popular Japanese true story from the 1920s, will be filmed entirely on location in and around the towns of Bristol and Woonsocket, as well as on the University of Rhode Island campus. The Rhode Island Film and TV Office sponsored a party in honor of the production, which was attended by Gere and director Lasse Halström, who directed “Chocolat” and “The Cider House Rules.” Neither spoke to the press.
“Hachiko” (pronounced HA-chi-ko) tells the true story of an Akita named Hachiko who greeted his college professor owner at the end of every workday during the 1920s in Tokyo. After the professor’s death, in 1925, Hachiko returned to Tokyo’s Shibuya railway station looking for his owner every evening for 10 years, launching a much-loved tale that has endured for decades.
A bronze statue of Hachiko still stands outside the Shibuya station. In the American version of the popular 1990s Japanese film based on the story, Gere will play Hachiko’s owner, and Academy Award-nominated actress Joan Allen will play his wife.