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Fuji's HERO gets Asia-wide release

Written by Mark Schilling

Monday, 03 September 2007

TOKYO -- HERO, Fuji TV's suspense/drama about a rebel prosecutor that will open in Japan on September 8, is also getting a wide release around Asia, Fuji sources have revealed.

The pic, which is headlined by Japanese megastar Takuya Kimura in the prosecutor role, will open in Korea on October 25 on 250 screens -- a local record for a Japanese pic.


The pic will also bow in Hong Kong on October 18, as well as in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. HERO will open on 20 screens or more in each of these territories, a large number given the small local market share of Japanese pics. Finally, the pic will not be dubbed anywhere, on the assumption that fans will want to hear Kimura's real voice.


HERO is based on a Fuji TV series, starring Kimura as a rule-breaking delinquent-turned-prosecutor, that racked up stupendous 30-plus ratings for every episode when it was broadcast from January to March 2001. Instead of signing Kimura and company to another season, however, Fuji dropped the show for five years, reviving it for a special that aired in July of 2006 -- and also scored over 30.

By this time, Fuji producer Chihiro Kameyama -- the mastermind behind the smash "Bayside Shakedown" cop thriller franchise and many other hit films, was developing a HERO feature. Set for release on 470 screens on September 8, HERO is expected to equal or surpass the spectacular take of the two "Bayside Shakedown" films, the second of which grossed Y17.35 billion ($151 million) in 2003, more than that year's "Harry Potter" entry.

In August Kimura signed to star in the Anh Hung Tran psychothriller "I Come with the Rain," a pan-Asian production that is expected to raise his regional profile. He also appeared in Wong Kar-wai's mood romance "2046," as well Yoji Yamada's period drama "Love and Honor," a major hit for Shochiku in 2006.

Article at: http://www.varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/2010/1&nid=3597

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