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‘Bayside’ duo reteam on ‘Guardian’

Film is set for a fall 2008 release

TOKYO — Two key players in the team that created the megahit “Bayside Shakedown” pic franchise for Fuji TV are reuniting for “Daremo mamotte kurenai” (“The Guardian”).

Ryoichi Kimizuka, who scripted the two “Bayside” cop thrillers and directed spinoff “The Suspect,” is set to helm. Chihiro Kameyama, who produced the “Bayside” pics, “The Suspect” and much else besides as head of the Fuji TV motion picture department, will produce “The Guardian.”

Pic is set for a fall 2008 release, with the distrib yet to be announced,

Unlike the “Bayside” movies, which were made with a comic touch, “The Guardian” will be a serious drama.

The story, by Kimizuka, centers on a detective who backs a convict’s teen sister against a society that punishes guilt by association. Koichi Sato (“Suite Dreams,” “Starfish Hotel”) will star as the detective, while 14-year-old Mirai Shida will play the sister.

Kameyama, the uber-producer behind a string of Fuji hits, has evidently decided to vary the net’s stay-on-the-lighter-side success formula with “The Guardian.” It was a “completely different approach that I felt could also work,” he said.

Fuji is ending 2007 with a bang as its mystery/romance “Hero” edges over ¥8 billion ($74 million) — the highest B.O. for a domestic pic this year.

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