Toho to produce 3D ‘Always’

Third pic in franchise set for 2012 release

Tokyo — Toho has announced production of a third installment in the hit “Always” franchise set in postwar Tokyo, which it will make in 3D.

“Always: Sanchome ni Yuji ’64” (Always: Sunset on Third Street ’64) will bring back the main cast of the first two pics, including Shinichi Tsutsumi, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Koyuki, Tomokazu Miura and Hiroko Yakushimaru as well as helmer Takashi Yamazaki, fresh from his smash sci-fi actioner “Space Battleship Yamato.”

In the new pic the struggling novelist (Yoshioka) and the former exotic dancer (Koyuki) marry and have a child, while other characters also reach major life-turning points in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics.

Shooting started on Dec. 4 and will continue through April. Toho will release in the first half of 2012.

The first “Always” earned $39 million in 2005 and the second $55 million in 2007.

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