Erika Sawajiri to Return in 'Helter Skelter' Live Action Adaptation

Ninagawa Sawajiri Helter Skelter - H 2012

Ninagawa Sawajiri Helter Skelter - H 2012

The actress returns after a four-year exile for a press conference tantrum.

TOKYO -- Erika Sawajiri is to return to the big screen in Mika Ninagawa's adaptation of cult manga Helter Skelter, four years after she was effectively excommunicated from Japanese showbiz for a fairly mild tantrum at a press conference for the film Closed Note.

Sawajiri, 25, will play a super-surgically-enhanced actress/model who is chewed up and spat out by the Tokyo entertainment world, in a story with obvious parallels her own meteoric rise and crash.

"Erika Sawajiri, who herself has been a target for acclaims and profane outbursts at the same time, is the only actress in Tokyo capable to portray the main character of this film, Ririko, who is both fragile and powerful, and gets consumed by the city of Tokyo," said director Ninagawa, originally a fashion photographer.

The film is based on the controversial, award-winning Helter Skelter manga by Kyoko Okazaki, which first ran from 1995 to 1996. Okazaki was hit by a drunk-driver in 1996, leaving her unable to work since.

"I was shocked by the original work, and have wished to play Ririko for a very long time ... people around me even say that this would suit me well," said Sawajiri.

Helter Skelter will be produced by Asmik Ace and the Wowow Films division of the cable network.

Mitsuru Uda, a Hollywood Reporter Next Generation Asia alumni, will produce, and was reportedly in discussions with Sawajiri about the role for three years.

The film is due for release in July in Japan.