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FilMart: Toho’s ‘Black Widow’ Spins Web of Deceit

“Black Widow Business,” a suspense comedy about aging spinsters who try to con wealthy old men out of their fortunes, is one of a trio of new films to be pitched by Japan’s Toho at this week’s Hong Kong FilMart. The three lift the sales slate for Toho, Japan’s leading film conglomerate, to a hefty 15 titles.

The so-called ‘senior marriage business,’ is a scam which has recently become a major social issue in Japan, where a large portion of the population is retired. The story sees a middle-aged woman unexpectedly fall in love with one of her targets. Directed by 76-year-old Yasuo Tsuruhashi (“Genji Monogatari: Sennen no Nazo”,) “Business” is set for an Aug. 27 release in Japan.

Masaharu Fukuyama from Cannes-winning “Like Father Like Son” stars in “SCOOP!,” a suspense drama in which he plays a talented paparazzo who loves gambling and finds himself in debt. Fumi Nikaido, winner of the rising star award at Venice, plays his love interest, a novice reporter who lands a major scoop. Written and directed by hit Japanese filmmaker Hitoshi One (“Bakuman”,) “SCOOP!” is set for Japanese theatrical release in October.

“Yell for the Blue Sky” is a live action film adaptation of popular Japanese comic series of the same title, which has run for seven years since 2008. The high school romantic drama stars Tao Tsuchiya (“Orange”) and Ryoma Takeuchi (“Kamen Rider” series.) It is being directed by Takahiro Miki, who has shot previous manga adaptations, including “Blue Spring Ride.”

Toho’s FilMart lineup also includes a suspense film directed by Korean-Japanese film maker Lee Sang-il and based on award-winning author Shuichi Yoshida’s original novel, “Rage.”

It is also handling animated feature “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita And the Birth of Japan 2016” which opened on top of the Japanese box office earlier this month; sci fi monster flick “Shin Godzilla;” and currently in-production animated feature “Your Name.”

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