TOKYO — The Fuji TV network is to make a third pic in its hit “Umizaru” franchise about Japanese Coast Guard divers.
Eiichiro Hasumi, who helmed the first two pics, returns for the third, while Yasushi Fukuda, who wrote the TV series and features, is again penning the script.
Hideaki Ito and Ai Kato will reprise their roles. Ito plays an elite diver who, after marrying and having a child with his love interest from the first two pics, played by Kato, is sent on a dangerous rescue mission to an oil rig hit by typhoon, teaming with a newcomer played by Shohei Miura.
The pic starts shooting in early August with a late June 2010 release date.
Fuji will be joined on the project by Pony Canyon, Robot Communications, Shogakukan and Toho.
Based on a popular comic, the first “Umizaru” pic earned a respectable $18.3 million following its 2004 bow. A follow-up TV series was a hit on Fuji TV in 2005. “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust” (aka “Limit of Love: Umizaru”) scooped a spectacular $80.5 million on 5 million admissions in 2006, the best box office of the year for a domestic live-action pic.