AKB48’s Kitahara Rie to star in survival movie “Joker Game”

21-year-old AKB48 member Kitahara Rie (currently part of Team B and sister group SKE48) has landed her first starring role in a theatrical movie. Titled “Joker Game,” the film is yet another entry in the idol-filled “survival game” suspense genre.

Kitahara’s supporting cast includes Takatsuki Sara (15) of the idol group bump.y, Koike Yui (21) of Tomato n’ Pine (also known for her role as Gokai Pink in “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger”), and D2 members Okubo Shotaro (17), Shiramata Atsushi (18), and Negishi Takuya (16).

Kitahara plays a 3rd-year high school student at a prefectural college prep school. When all of the third-year students go on a camp trip together, their teachers announce that they will all have to participate in a card game of “Old Maid.” However, the camp is actually part of an experiment by the national government to put an end to the country’s declining education and to boost the students’ “humanity” – meaning that the game is really a deadly test that will truly decide their fates.

Although this is Kitahara’s first time in the lead role on the big screen, she previously acted in last year’s “Graffreeter Toki.” She has also recently been gaining more attention with her role on Fuji TV’s ongoing reality show “Terrace House.”

“Joker Game” will open on December 22nd.

“Graffreeter Toki” to be AKB48′s Kitahara Rie’s movie debut

AKB48 member Kitahara Rie (20) will make her big screen debut in a live-action movie inspired by the popular manga “Grappler Baki.” Titled “Graffreeter Toki,” the movie is related to a stage play of the same name that was performed by Gekidan FEELD STAGE in March.

Written by Itagaki Keisuke, “Grappler Baki” is a manga about a man named Baki aiming to become the most powerful grappler in the world. The comedic “Graffreeter Toki” story is set in a downtown shopping street, where a land speculator is colluding with an evil organization. Toki is a young boy whose mother, a passionate Baki fan, has raised him with some unusual talents. Together with the other people of the shopping district, Toki fights to protect the neighborhood from the evil organization.

The protagonist Toki will be played by relatively new actor Sudo Ryota, who also starred in the stage play. Kitahara will play the heroine of the story, while Saito Yuki will play Toki’s mother. Kobayashi Kendo will play the leader of the evil organization, and Tsuda Kanji has been cast as a key character.

“Graffreeter Toki” is set for release in spring 2012.