by Chris MaGee
A couple of weeks back I ran a rumour about how "Battle Royale" and "Death Note" actor Tatsuya Fujiwara may or may not be starring in a live-action adaptation of the gambling adventure manga "Ultimate Survivor Kaiji". There had been an ad posted for extras for the film, but it had been pulled and everyone was confused whether the film was moving ahead and yadda-yadda-yadda. Now, according to Tokyograph the project is officially a go, and to drive that point home even further Sankei Sports has got some shots (like the one above) of Fujiwara in character as Kaiji.
To recap on our earlier story, "Ultimate Survivor Kaiji" was created by Nobuyuki Fukumoto in 1996 and has run as a weekly manga and anime series ever since. It follows the story of Itou Kaiji, a gambler and petty thief who is persuaded to board a gambling cruise in order to pay down a huge debt. Once aboard he has to contend with some pretty shady characters and loads of action.
First time feature director Toya Sato will be helming what is now simply being called "Kaiji" and Teruyuki Kagawa and Yuki Amami will also be aboard the gambling cruise playing supporting roles. "Kaiji" is set for a release sometime next year.