Lost's Matthew Fox has signed on to star in director Peter Webber's Japan-set political thriller Emperor.

Inspired by true events, Emperor is an epic story of love and understanding set amidst the uncertainties of the days following the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII, when General Douglas MacArthur served as the de facto ruler of Japan as supreme commander of the occupying forces.

Matthew Fox will play Gen. Bonner Fellers, one of MacArthur's leading Japanese experts, who is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal?

The film will also explore the story of Fellers' love affair with a Japanese exchange student he had met years before in the U.S., and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape.

Peter Webber will direct from a script by David Klass and Vera Blasi.

Production will begin later this month in New Zealand and Japan.