Japanese publisher moves into film biz

Bungei Shunju to release Miike's 'Lesson of the Evil'

TOKYO — Bungei Shunju, a major Japanese publisher with an 99-year history, has unveiled its first ever lineup of feature pics.

To celebrate its founding in 1913, the company is releasing three pics in the fall of this year, with more reportedly on the way in 2013.

The first, skedded for a Sept. 8 bow, is “Dreams for Sale,” Miwa Nishikawa’s black comedy about a newly broke couple, played by Takako Matsu and Sadao Abe, who decide to try marriage scams to raise cash. Her previous pics “Dear Doctor” (2009) and “Sway” (2006) were showered with domestic awards, and the new pic is expected to add to her trophy collection.

The second, set for an October release, is “Fuse Teppo Musume no Torimoncho,” a toon based on an award-winning novel by Kazuki Sakuraba and helmed by Masayuki Miyaji.

The most hotly anticipated pic, though, is cult favorite Takashi Miike’s thriller “Lesson of the Evil,” about a teacher who takes extreme measures to deal with bad behavior in the student body. Pic, based on a novel by Yusuke Kishi, is set for a November opening.

To coincide with the releases, Bungei Shunju will both promo the original novels and publish new books on the making of the pics.

The publisher’s only previous involvement in the biz was its participation in the production of 1995 toon “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

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