Rila Fukushima, who played Yukio in The Wolverine, will be playing a significant supporting role as DC’s resident sword-swinging bad-a$$ Katana. The role previously was cast by Devon Aoki (Sin City), but she is now out due to “scheduling conflicts.”
But that sounds a bit fishy when you take a quick glance at Aoki’s workload and begs the question whatever happened to her career?
She hasn’t done anything since 2009’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead and doesn’t have anything else lined up. I’m thinking either the “Arrow” producers didn’t like her or she simply doesn’t have a passion for acting anymore.
She seemed poised for bigger things after playing a more than eye candy role in 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003.
The next year, she teamed with Meagan Good and fellow “Fast and Furious” alumn Jordanna Brewster for “D.E.B.S.” and in 2005, had a major role as Miho in Sin City.
In 2006, she was in the video game adaptation of DOA: Dead or Alive, which per the norm for a video game movie, wasn’t received very warmly beyond the straight men demographic who could fully appreciate the film for being at least true to the T&A aspect of the source material.
Next up, Aoki appeared in War with Jet Li and Jason Statham, but has been out of the Hollywood spotlight largely since then. She gave birth to a son in 2011 and had a daughter in 2013 and it appears that she’s content to enjoy being a mother and wife (to husband James Bailey).
Bad timing meant she missed out on the chance to reprise Miho in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For due to her pregnancy, which was arguably her most popular role.
Course that’s more due to the sequel taking nine years after the original and Aoki understandably not putting her life on hold to possibly return for a sequel that nearly seemed like it wasn’t going to happen.
Aoki definitely looked like she was on an upward trajectory until the last few years and missing out on Arrow, one of the bigger non-big 4 network shows around certainly will impact her stock. Fukushima will do just fine in the role, but I really was looking forward to seeing Aoki make a comeback.