One of the golden rules of the Japanese entertainment industry is that the audience always comes last. Fans of the Odoru Daisosasen (“Bayside Shakedown”) police comedy-drama series were disappointed to hear that the latest movie installment, due to hit theaters this July, will be arriving without mainstay Miki Mizuno (above). The actress, who played police sergeant Yukino Kashiwagi in the original TV series and its lucrative big-screen outings, has been replaced this time around by Yuki Uchida (Cat’s Eye). According to a report by Cyzo magazine, Mizuno effectively got herself blacklisted when she parted company with talent agency Burning Productions in 2005, incurring the wrath of president Ikuo Suho. The latter apparently used his influence to ensure that the actress didn’t get a look-in with the latest film; her replacement, naturally, is herself represented by Burning. This is far from the only example of talent agencies meddling in the movie world. Earlier in the year, Cyzo reported that Johnny’s Jimusho had been interfering in the production of the forthcoming Space Battleship Yamato adaptation. When Smap star Takuya Kimura was cast in the lead role, the agency apparently demanded that the focus of the film be shifted from SFX-heavy space battles to Kimutaku-heavy human drama. Well, at least they’ll be happy with the movie—even if nobody else is.
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