The Nikkan Sports newspaper reported on Saturday that 30-year-old EXILE band member Akira has been informally named as 27-year-old actor/singer Jin Akanishi's replacement for the GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka live-action television series remake. The newspaper's source said that original creator Tohru Fujisawa strongly advocated for an actor similar to the wild persona of the story's title character.
According to the newspaper, Kansai TV is producing the series for its broadcast premiere on the Fuji TV network this July, and it will run on Tuesdays at the 10:00 p.m. timeslot.
Nikkan Sports had reported last month that Akanishi was forced by Johnny & Associates, his talent agency, to leave the remake. Akanishi would have replaced Takashi Sorimachi as the title character in the remake of the 1998 drama, which adapted Fujisawa's original school comedy manga. Akanishi married the actress/singer Meisa Kuroki (23) on February 2, and he reportedly did not notify Johnny & Associates until after registering his marriage. Kuroki confirmed last month that she is pregnant.