The movie is based on Koreeda's original script about the psychological drama between an elite lawyer played by Fukuyama who values winning over everything and a murderer played by Yakusho. The story which is from Shigemori's (Fukuyama) perspective, talks about how he takes on the case of Misumi (Yakusho) who is on trial for murder despite the low odds of winning the case. As he interacts with Misumi, Shigemori starts to realise how unconvincing Misumi's motive for killing is and stands to wonder if the latter is the true murderer. In order to write the script for the movie, Koreeda went to interview various legal personnel such as lawyers and prosecutors and even held a mock trial to go through the story's setting.
As this is Fukuyama's first attempt at playing a lawyer and working with Yakusho, he revealed that he has been very nervous about this and hopes to be able to deliver a good performance and meet up to Koreeda's expectations. The director commented that he had been looking for another chance to work with Fukuyama since their first collaboration "Soshite Chichi ni naru" and the latter had suggested doing a story which Koreeda was interested in.
As for Yakusho who is working with Koreeda for the first time, he commented that he was feeling tense after seeing how the director handled the pre-filming preparation and hopes to enjoy the filming experience with Fukuyama and the other co-stars. Koreeda revealed that the trigger for offering the role to Yakusho came from a New Year card received from the latter which had the message that "it's high time that they work together". Although Koreeda had not deliberately avoided working with Yakusho because he was in awe of the actor, he wanted to be well-prepared before inviting Yakusho to work with him.
Sources: Sponichi / Eiga.com