Fuji readies 3rd 'Shakedown'

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TOKYO -- The most lucrative live-action title in Japanese movie history is about to get a third installment, according to Fuji Television Network.

The 2003 "Bayside Shakedown" movie, a sequel to the initial film that was released in 1998, earned Y17.35 billion ($173.2 million) at the domestic boxoffice.

The film arm of Fuji used the unveiling of a new police station in the Oumi district of Tokyo Sunday to announce the new movie. The waterfront district of the Japanese capital is the setting of the police drama, which began life as a television series in 1997.

"The formation of a real-life Wangan Police Station, together with the fantastic ratings we garnered from the marathon airing of the 'Bayside Shakedown' films last October, encouraged us to go ahead with the third installment," said Chihiro Kameyama, head of Fuji's Motion Picture Department and both producer and creator of the franchise.

"Yuji Oda, who plays the lead role, is also excited about the new production, and we are currently working with him to arrange the filming schedule," he said.

Oda will don his trademark green parka to play the role of Detective Shunsaku Aoshima in the movie, known as "Odoru Daisosasen" in Japan, and will be joined by Toshiro Yanagiba and Eri Fukatsu. A replacement for the late Chosuke Ikariya has yet to be decided.

"We know the 'Bayside Shakedown' fans have been waiting for this announcement, so director Katsuyuki Motohiro, writer Ryoichi Kimizuka and myself will huddle and brainstorm to come up with another great story that will live up to those expectations," Kameyama said.

Shooting is expected to begin early next year with a summer release date.
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