After growing from an angry young Jedi into the evil Darth Vader, Hayden Christensen has talked of his new, very different movie project.

Christensen is to star in Fred Schepisi's Beast of Bataan alongside Willem Defoe and William Hurt, and talked to Empire about the second world war epic.

Beast of Bataan details the true story of the trial of Japanese general Masaharu Homma who was embroiled in the unsavoury Bataan Death March, in which some 100,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war were marched to detainment camps and physically abused en route.

The former Anakin Skywalker is to play Homma's lawyer and explained the film is "essentially a courtroom drama".

"It's a very powerful story. It comments on how war is wrong and there is no right side and it's all sort of f**ed up," he said.

"I play an American solider coming back from the war who is assigned to defend this Japanese general simply because he studied law before he went into service. The Americans are trying to set him up for the fall. My character becomes aware of that and really does his best to get him off the hook. Because of the corruptness of war, it doesn't really work out for him."

He added: "It felt like a good way of commenting on what is going on around the world without actually saying what is going on around the world."

The film is set to begin production in Australia in February 2008.

23/11/2007 10:49:12