Toei’s ‘Aibo’ generates spin-off

Cop thriller to follow Seiji Rokkaku's character

TOKYO — “Aibo,” a hit cop thriller based on a long-running TV Asahi series, has generated a spin-off, distrib Toei has revealed.

Titled “Kanshiki: Yonezawa Mamoru no Jikenbo” (Identification: The Case Book of Mamoru Yonezawa), the pic focuses on a forensic analyst, played by Seiji Rokkaku, who was a supporting character in the first “Aibo” pic.

The helmer is Yasuharu Hasebe, best known abroad for his actioners and erotic thrillers of the 1960s and 1970s that have become cult hits.

Shooting started on July 3 and is expected to wrap in early August. Distrib Toei and producer TV Asahi plan to release the pic next spring

“Aibo” opened on nearly 300 screens on May 1 and topped the BO for the Golden Week period. As of last Sunday it had earned 4.4 billion yen ($41 million), making it the number one domestic pic for the first half of 2008.

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