Chiba’s first directorial work announced
Sun, January 20, 2008 (8:07pm EST)
Sonny Chiba, who has changed his stage name to JJ Sonny Chiba, has revealed his first project as a movie director. Using his newly created alias of Rindo Wachinaga, he is directing and writing a film called “Za Toichi,” an obvious play on the famous work "Zatoichi."
The title can be read as “The Toichi,” where “toichi” is a common abbreviation of the phrase “tooka de ichiwari,” referring to illegal loans that charge 10% interest for every 10 days. The protagonist, played by V-Cinema actor Ginji Yoshikawa, is a moneylender who, like the swordsman Zatoichi, is blind.
Chiba (as Wachinaga) is directing and writing the script, and there is a possibility that he will co-star with Yoshikawa under his acting name.
The film’s budget is reportedly 200 million yen. Filming is scheduled to begin in April, followed by a possible release in the fall.