Atsuko Maeda to play heroine of “Eight Rangers” sequel

By kevin on February 04, 2014 at 3:05am EST

Atsuko Maeda as Jun Saigo in Eightranger

Atsuko Maeda will co-star alongside the members of boy band Kanjani8 for the first time in their upcoming film, Eight Rangers 2.

The original Eight Rangers was released in 2012 and went on to become a big hit for distributor Toho, earning over 1.16 billion yen ($11.4 million USD) at the box office. The film was inspired by an ongoing series of skits Kanjani8 perform at their live shows called “Kanjani Sentai Eightranger” in which they portray a team of comedic super heroes.

The sequel is set 5 years after the events of the first film, as the Eight Rangers protect Eight City from a new menace.

Yukihiko Tsutsumi will once again serve as director. He recently worked with Maeda on the video for her fourth solo single, Seventh Code, which was later extended to a feature film of the same name which netted him the award for Best Director at the 8th Rome Film Festival.

In the new film, Maeda will play Jun Saigo, a reporter for a weekly magazine reporter who’s looking into a recent rash of mysterious disappearances in Eight City. Thinking that the Eight Rangers may somehow be involved in the situation, Saigo begins a penetrating investigation into their personal affairs.

Even though the film promises to ramp up the comedy even further in the sequel, Maeda was reportedly cast in part for her ability to portray genuine emotion while crying, as the film’s climax will require her character to react to a painful, heart-rending situation.

“Eight Rangers 2” will be released by Toho in Japan this summer.

Source: Cinema Today

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