Zach McGowan (Black Sails, The 100) has been cast in the lead role in the World War II drama Ni‘ihau, which marks the feature directorial debut of Gabriel Robertson.
Deadline reports that the film will tell the true story of Shigenori Nishikaichi, an Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service pilot who crash-landed his Zero on the eponymous Hawaiian island after participating in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Nishikaichi was saved by an island leader, Ben Kanahele, but when the circumstances became apparent the pilot was apprehended but received assistance from locals, taking hostages and attempting to overcome his captors. Kanahele ultimately killed Nishikaichi and was decorated for his part in stopping the takeover.
McGowan is set to play Ben Kanahele, with his casting coming under fire as another example of Hollywood whitewashing.
Production on Ni‘ihau is set to get underway this month at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios.