Office Kitano annouces production will restart next year after being delayed by earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Director Takeshi Kitano’s Office Kitano has announced he will restart production on the sequel to violent yakuza hit Outrage next year for a fall 2012 release.

The project was originally announced last September after the first film completed its 2010 theatrical run. Casting and pre-production work was under way earlier this year with an intended fall 2011 release when the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster hit eastern Japan in March.

Soon after, Kitano himself announced the decision to postpone filming in light of the death and destruction wrought by the catastrophe.

With various issues taken into consideration, the film’s production committee, including distributor Warner Brothers Japan, settled on a plan to restart production next year aiming for a fall 2012 release. Casting and other details of Kitano’s 16th feature film, marking his first sequel, are still under wraps.

Released a year ago on June 12 after its world premiere in the Cannes competition Outrage earned approximately $9.2m (Y750m), making it Kitano’s most successful effort since 2003’s Zatoichi ($34m).

The film also had a fairly successful international festival and sales profile. Sales agent Celluloid Dreams closed deals with a number of territories including the US (Magnolia Pictures), France (Metropolitan Filmexport), Germany (Capelight Pictures), Italy (Movies Inspired), Denmark (Angel Films), Hong Kong (Panasia Films) and Singapore (Cathay-Keris Films).

However, Kitano only gave the film a “sixty-percent” grade in his estimation, hoping to outdo it with a bigger and better sequel.