Due to the unavailability of the character's original portrayer, Hiroyuki Sanada, the part will now be played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. According to producer Melissa Loy, Sanada's jam-packed film schedule (including a role in the Hugh Jackman-led movie Wolverine) necessitated the change. "Geographically, with our schedule being what it is, it was getting a little bit challenging," Loy explains. "We would have had to fly him in and out of Australia [where Wolverine was filming], but [still] wouldn't have had him on the days we necessarily needed him. We tried to figure out a bunch of different scenarios, but ultimately it was too difficult."
Tagawa, who has appeared on Heroes and Hawaii Five-0, will debut in the Sept. 30 season premiere and is "fantastic," says Loy, who adds that the 10-year age difference between Takeda #1 (age 51) and Takeda #2 (age 61) was of no concern. "We didn't want to try to trick our audience," she says. "We wanted to bring somebody in who brought something fresh, different and new to the character." Something the men have in common: both were born in Tokyo and boast an impressive list of Japanese film credits.
Loy says Takeda will stick around as long as "Emily has revenge-school stories." And there are many new tales to be told this season - particularly in flashbacks showing Takeda working with both Emily and another vengeance-seeking pupil named Aiden.
Just needed a reason to make a Revenge post!