March 2, 2011
by Alex Billington
Universal has announced an official greenlight for 47 Ronin, a new epic 3D martial arts fantasy-adventure starring Keanu Reeves. Directing this is Carl Rinsch, a protege of Ridley Scott and commercials director making his feature debut, but he's already got some exciting ideas for this movie. Also starring are Japanese Superstars Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai), Kou Shibasaki (One Missed Call), Tadanobu Asano (Ichi the Killer, Thor) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, The Brothers Bloom), most of whom you can see above. That was the photo they official released with this, and you can kind of see the 47 Ronin logo behind them.
Shooting begins March 14th in London on the 3D adventure inspired by Japan's most enduring tale. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Sanada), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors. 47 Ronin is helmed by Carl Rinsch (also of the short The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before.
This already sounds like it could be pretty badass from the description, but I've heard from folks who have seen more, that it apparently kicks some serious ass. Rinsch has been waiting to make his big feature debut and he's already got some tricks up his sleeve to pull off an awesome samurai action flick, in 3D nonetheless. I'm not sure if they're planning to shoot on greenscreen all the time or use locations in Japan or Europe, but I'm hoping for the best with this, as Rinsch has pulled together a badass cast with Reeves finally getting back into some martial arts again. Other than that, the story sounds cool, I just wish I could see some concept art.
’47 Ronin’ Snags Japanese Cast & Production Start Date
production start has been set for Carl Rinsch’s 3D epic ’47 Ronin’, while four Japanese stars have been cast alongside Keanu Reeves.
The last we reported on the Samurai epic 47 Ronin, we heard that it would be shot in 3D as opposed to being converted after the fact. The film will star Keanu Reeves and will be shot under the direction of first-time feature director Carl Erik Rinsch (you may remember he almost directed the scrapped Alien prequel and recently chose 47 Ronin over the Logan’s Run remake).
Thanks to an official press release from Universal Pictures we now know that 47 Ronin will start principal photography in less than two weeks time on March 14th. The last we heard, the film was set to be released on November 21st, 2012, and if that date is still correct, then it gives those involved in making the film plenty of time.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the project, and adaptation of “Japan’s most enduring tale,” here is the synopsis given in the press release:
Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi, the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors.
We also learn from the press release that four Japanese stars (some would even say superstars) have joined Reeves in the cast, and we even have details of who each of them will be playing:
As an added bonus to this news, we also have a photo taken of the cast together with director Carl Rinsch at a press conference in London:
- Hiroyuki Sanada – He is best known for his roles in the original Ringu and its sequel; the Tom Cruise east-meets-west action film The Last Samurai; Danny Boyle’s sci-fi epic Sunshine; and fans of the TV series Lost will remember him as the mysterious Dogen in the show’s final season. Here he will play Oishi, the clan’s chief samurai.
- Tadanobu Asano – He is most known for playing Kakihara in director Takashi Miike’s brilliantly twisted Ichi the Killer; as Genghis Khan in Mongol; and he will soon be seen in this summer’s Thor. Here he will play the evil overlord Lord Kira.
- Rinko Kikuchi – She garnered acclaim (including an Oscar nomination) for her performance in Babel, and starred as a mostly silent con artist in The Brothers Bloom. Here she will play the mysterious lady Mizuki who executes Lord Kira’s every request in his search for ultimate power.
- Kou Shibasaki – She is probably most known internationally from the original One Missed Call and the brutal Battle Royale, but has starred in a number of other films, most recently The Lady Shogun and Her Men. Here she will play Mika, the daughter of the clan’s master and the love of Kai’s (Reeves) life.
As strange as it is having Reeves lead a story hailed as Japan’s “national legend” (read: Reeves isn’t Japanese), it’s great to see Japanese talent of this caliber assembled for what will hopefully be an interesting and enjoyable action-adventure – one which utilizes 3D in the best way possible (by being shot in that format). I’ve admired those four actors for a while now (particularly Asano and Sanada) and I very much look forward to seeing them together onscreen.
47 Ronin also sports an impressive team of people behind the scenes, including cinematographer John Mathieson (Gladiator, Robin Hood); editor Craig Wood (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, The Ring); production designer Jan Roelfs (Alexander, Gattaca), costumer designer Penny Rose (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Evita); special effects producer Paul Corbould (Mamma Mia!, The Wolfman); and visual effects producer Garv Thorp (Your Highness, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor).
Evidently this is going to be a huge production with a lot of talent working both in front of and behind the camera. Can they do justice to such an enduring and well-respected tale of courage, loyalty, honor and sacrifice? Who knows at this point, but so far things are looking up.
As stated, 47 Ronin is set to start production on March 14th this year and has a planned release date of November 21st, 2012. We’ll let you know if that changes.
Source: Universal Pictures
47 Ronin Gets A Start Date, Four New Japanese Cast Memberspublished: 2011-03-01 15:33:00 Author: Eric Eisenberg
After spending so many years watching Keanu Reeves play the ass-kicking Jesus figure, he's somewhat fallen off the map. The actor's last major release was The Day The Earth Stood Still back in 2008, and while he has done projects since, they haven't been anywhere near the same scale. Lucky for us he'll be making his comeback with 47 Ronin and now the film not only has a production schedule, but Reeves has some new co-stars.
Universal has sent out a press release announcing that the new film, directed by Carl Erik Rinsch, is officially scheduled to begin production on March 14. Also, in addition to the previously announced Reeves, the cast has added Japanese actors Hiroyuki San, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi. Based on a script by Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini, the film tells the story of an outcast who joins a group of warriors called the 47 Ronin who seek vengeance against the man who killed their master.
The release also came with an image of the cast and the director, which you can see below (click on it to see the photo in high-res). From right to left there is Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, Kou Shibasaki, and Carl Rinsch. The film is set to be released on November 21, 2012. For more on 47 Ronin, head on over to our Blend Film Database
UPDATED: Four Of The ’47 Ronin’ Have Been Cast; Actors Include Hiroyuki Sanada and Tadanobu Asano
Posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 by Germain Lussier
UPDATE: This original story has been updated with an official press release, plot description, character names and high resolution cast photo. Check it all out after the jump.]
With Keanu Reeves set to star in Carl Erik Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin, by my math, still leaves about 46 Ronin to be cast. The 3D production is heating up and Variety is reporting that four more roles have been cast. Japanese actors Tadanobu Asano, Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi and Hiroyuki Sanada have all joined the film.
Asano is familiar to film geeks for his roles in Ichi the Killer, Mongol and Zatoichi among many others, plus he’s got a two big movies coming up, Thor and Battleship. Shibasaki was in Go, Battle Royale and the original One Missed Call. Kikuchi is known to American audiences from her leading roles in Babel and The Brothers Bloom and Sanada is best known for roles in The Last Samuari, Sunshine and as Dogen in the final season of Lost. Ken Watanabe was rumored to be a part of the film, but that is still just a rumor.
Read more about Rinsch’s 47 Ronin, scheduled for release Thanksgiving 2012, and this casting after the jump.
Thanks to Variety for providing these casting announcements.
47 Ronin is a well-known story. Extremely well-known. According to the IMDB, there are no less than 14 films who have shared this title at some point during their production. Here’s how Peter described the film a few months ago:
Based on a true 18th Century Japanese story, the film follows a band of samurai swordsmen who are shamed into becoming the titular ronin — a Japanese word meaning lordless samurai, and must avenge the death of their master. The construct a huge plan and sacrifice everything to see it through.
And screenwriter Chris Morgan, who wrote the last three Fast and Furious films as well as Wanted, described the film as a “great, Gladiator-esque, 300-like big action movie with samurai and ninja.”
All that said, casting well-respected and talented Japanese actors such as these would certainly make it seem like this project is headed in the right direction. While some are more recognizable than others, each already had a pretty impressive Hollywood resume that will only be bolstered by this film. I’m suddenly much more excited about 47 Ronin.
Universal has provided the following press release about the production of 47 Ronin. Here’s a cast shot and the full text. Click for the high res version.
Universal Pictures announced today that principal photography begins March 14 on 47 Ronin, the new epic 3D fantasy-adventure inspired by ancient Japan’s most enduring tale. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors.What do you think of these actors being in the film? Is 47 Ronin a film that you’re excited about?
47 Ronin is helmed by visionary director Carl Erik Rinsch (The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before.
Joining Reeves in the cast are a who’s who of Japanese superstars, including Hiroyuki Sanada (The Twilight Samurai, Sunshine, The Last Samurai) as the clan’s chief samurai, Oishi; Kou Shibasaki (The Lady Shogun and Her Men, One Missed Call) as their master’s daughter and the love of Kai’s life, Mika; Tadanobu Asano (Mongol, Ichi the Killer, upcoming Thor) as the treacherous Lord Kira; and Academy Award®-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Norwegian Wood) as the mysterious lady Mizuki who executes Kira’s every request in his search for ultimate power.
The film is from writers Chris Morgan (Wanted, Fast Five) and Hossein Amini (upcoming Drive, The Wings of the Dove). Scott Stuber (The Kingdom, upcoming Battleship), Pamela Abdy (Garden State, Man on the Moon) and Eric McLeod (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, Tropic Thunder) produce the epic.
Rinsch leads a behind-the-scenes crew comprised of two-time Academy Award®-nominated cinematographer John Mathieson (Gladiator, Robin Hood); two-time Academy Award®-nominated production designer Jan Roelfs (Alexander, Gattaca); editor Craig Wood (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, The Ring); costume designer Penny Rose (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Evita); special effects producer Paul Corbould (Mamma Mia!, The Wolfman); and visual effects producer Garv Thorp (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Your Highness).