Retired Japanese baseball star Tsuyoshi Shinjo has been tapped to head domestic promotions for three Jerry Bruckheimer productions slated for release in Japan in 2007.

Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Buena Vista International (BVI) Japan chose the popular sports figure to lead promotions for three upcoming releases produced by hit-maker Bruckheimer.

The three titles are Deja Vu (March 17), Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (May 26) and National Treasure: The Book Of Secrets (December 21). A combined box office target of $206m (Y25bn) has been set for the three releases.

Over a period of three years, following their move from Tokyo to Sapporo in 2004, the famed player led the bottom-ranked Nippon Ham Fighters to huge popularity and the Japan Series championship in 2006 (their first win since 1962).

Shinjo was well-known for his creative ploys in attracting fans to the flagging team. He retired last April with aspirations for a career in modelling and movies. 'I made a lot of hits in baseball. Making them in movies is going to be easy. The films themselves are already great, and I've got some surprises up my sleeve,' said a confident Shinjo.

'In the future, I'd be happy for him to appear in one of my films. Maybe a big adventure movie,' said Bruckheimer.

BVI was the most successful Hollywood major in the territory in 2006, earning over $210m and releasing the year's number one film Pirates Of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($82.34m).