Takeshi Kitano (right) has perhaps shocked the cinematic world.

After founding his company Office Kitano in 1988 with Masayuki Mori, Kitano is leaving the very company he founded at the end of March. Mori confirmed the news in a Japanese newspaper.

Since founding the company, Kitano has made some great films under his belt, both as director and actor under his “Beat Takeshi” persona. They include Hana-Bi, Violent Cop, Sonatine, Boiling Point, and Brother as well as his Outrage trilogy.

Kitano’s plan is to go the indie route and there are now rumors that the actors he has signed, collectively known as “Takeshi’s Army”, may be following Kitano as well, thus putting Office Kitano in jeopardy. Kitano, now 71, plans to also get some more personal time in, hence another reason for his departure from the company.

Aside from Kitano’s films from 1990 to present, Office Kitano has also produced the recent murder mystery Traces of Sin, starring Satoshi Tsumabuki and directed by Kei Ishikawa.

H/T: Variety