Atsuko Maeda's film canceled after studio goes bust due to Senkaku dispute

TOKYO —

Shooting of the film “1905,” starring former AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda has been canceled after its production and distribution company filed for bankruptcy, it has been revealed.

The period movie was set to star Chinese actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai, 50, Japanese actor Shota Matsuda, 27, and Maeda, 21, who was making her first movie since she “graduated” from AKB48 last summer. It was to be directed by famed horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

According to a Sports Nippon report, movie production and distribution house Prenom-H Co filed for bankruptcy after shooting costs rocketed. The added costs were said to be incurred as a result of the Senkaku island dispute between Japan and China. The movie was a Japan-China joint production, with 90% of the movie’s dialogue spoken in Chinese dialects.

Credit research company Teikoku Databank Ltd said that Prenom-H Co has received authorization to start bankruptcy proceedings from the Tokyo District Court. Prenom-H is believed to have liabilities amounting to around 643 million yen.

The large-scale action production was centered around Yokohama in 1905. Filming was scheduled for both Japan and Taiwan and the movie was pencilled for release in Japan this fall.

Japan Today

  • 1

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Oh dear, another thing to anger obssessive AKB48 fans.

  • 3

    apeman

    Hope Maeda doesn't feel she has to cut all her hair off!

  • 4

    JeffLee

    Sounds like the company was on shaky financial foundations to begin with. I guess the Chinese make a good scapegoat.

  • 2

    paulinusa

    Something here doesn't add up. And it's not this film's production costs.

  • 2

    papigiulio

    @jefflee, indeed, there is something missing about this story. Shoddy budgeting perhaps.

  • 5

    Speed

    So why and how exactly did the Senkaku issue "cause shooting costs to skyrocket"? I don't see the connection.

  • 0

    GJN48

    Cancelled? So will this film never see the light of day? I predict another company will pick this up, in the future. Thanks reporter/translator.

  • -2

    kolohe

    Who really cares? I don't.

  • 7

    Daijoboots

    Who really cares? I don't.

    Did your cat jump at your mouse and click on a link to an article you're not interested in again?

    Anyway damn Ishihara and all the fools for impeding this production and Atsuko's unstoppable rise to the throne.

    All hail AKB and its Graduates.

  • 1

    cubic

    Speed

    So why and how exactly did the Senkaku issue "cause shooting costs to skyrocket"? I don't see the connection.

    Maybe they were going to shoot the film on the Senkakus? It's the only explanation.

  • 7

    megosaa

    sounds like a conspiracy going on.

    Did your cat jump at your mouse and click on a link to an article you're not interested in again?

    BURN

  • 3

    tkoind2

    A period film with an AKB48 girl? Wow, never thought a film company failure would deliver a public service. But there it is. Saved from enduring another miscast kawaii "talento" in what should be a proper film. I do wish Japan would stop making so many silly fluffy idol filled films. If you look at Korea and how much global traction, recognition and awards their films are gathering vs. Japan and the endless stream of kawaii goo that emits from film companies here the difference is obvious. Korea makes films that are not just a platform for people to see kawaii brainless talento. They are films with stories to tell and they are getting recognized for doing so. How many mainstream Japanese films fly well outside of Asia? Few. Most films in SIFF or Sundance from Japan are indies that don't fly well here in the lad of kawaii.

  • 7

    borscht

    I realize that the owner of AKB48 likes to use the word 'graduate' to mean 'quit' and I'm pleased that JT put 'graduate' in quotes but why doesn't JT use the shorter word 'quit'?

    I also don't see the connection between their bankruptcy and Ishihara's islands. Could JT elaborate?

  • 0

    some14some

    movie production and distribution house Prenom-H Co filed for bankruptcy

    appropriate headline and simple explanation.

  • -1

    ChibaChick

    Blimey that was quick. Didnt they only announce last week that she was IN the flick?

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Another production scam a la "The Producers". I hope the bankruptcy judge happened to see the movie.

  • 1

    cramp

    really don't understand how the dispute could cause this unless the investors pulled support due to it

  • 1

    Steve Christian

    Article sorely needs an explanation.

  • -2

    techall

    They could probably fix it if they were to make it

    Atsuko Maeda's film shows bust

  • -2

    avigator

    It is was favorable for Japan I am sure lots of sponsors would pop-up out of the woods.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    If I were to guess, the dispute over the islands has thrown a wrench in Japan-China relations and the majority of the exterior shooting schedule was supposed to occur in China. Think about it, how many places in Japan could still pass off as being in 1905? With relations worsening, I'm sure the cost of the bribes necessary to shoot in China jumped astronomically.

  • 2

    Cos

    Like they surely had financial interest in the movie so they forced the director to cast an AKB. He is not an "horror director" , he's done TV stuff to pay his rent, but this days he is a talented director. I don't think "Tokyo Sonata" was " films that are not just a platform for people to see kawaii brainless talento.". But well, they struggle to find a budget for movies. Wong Kar Wai was forced to cast Kimu Taku to finance "2046".

    It is was favorable for Japan I am sure lots of sponsors would pop-up out of the woods.

    It seems it's Japanese sponsors that retracted as they no longer want to do a Chinese speaking movie.

  • -1

    602miko

    hoping more more more and more drama and movies for maeda.

  • -3

    AKBfan

    What a week excuse. Can anyone think why costs would riase because of Senkaku dispute (security?). Pity because would have been A-chan's acting debut and the world would have seen what an angel she is.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    What a week excuse. Can anyone think why costs would riase because of Senkaku dispute (security?).

    *weak I provided a possibility a mere three posts above yours. Did you miss it?

  • 0

    Wakarimasen

    Thanks Fad. Sure I missed it. And misspelled weak. Bad day for me. And for the lovely Atsuko. Guess we will have to wair for her movie debut - pity.

  • 0

    sidesmile

    Good, at least something positive has come out of all this bickering. Lets keep our fingers crossed that something good comes out of the Senkaku squabble...half price Idaho Burger L set?

  • 0

    sidesmile

    ....I mean the korea vs japan squabble.

  • -1

    CrisGerSan

    Please at least get your undeserved criticism of the fine girls of AKB48 correct, she GRADUATED which means chose to move on honourably and there is no reason to be so negative about this fine group and the lovely and decent girls who are part of it. I am sad that China continues to be so aggresively stupid about the Sengoku Islands. They belong to Japan. Period. Always. End of story.

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