Rumor: Is James McTeigue's Next Movie a Remake of Ninja Scroll?
Last week we broke the news that V for Vendetta director James McTeigue would be teaming up with The Wachowski's as producers yet again for a movie titled Ninja Assassin. All that was reported was that South Korean pop star Rain had been cast and that it was planning to film in Berlin starting in March. Other than that, not a single plot detail has since been revealed and the project seems shrouded in quite a bit of secrecy. However, our friends at Film Junk came across a scoop yesterday that speculated that this Ninja Assassin movie could actually be a remake of the 1993 anime Ninja Scroll.
The rumor originally comes from Kung Fu Rodeo, where they received info on an open casting call for the movie that lists names of characters that are eerily similar to Ninja Scroll. All of the other sources that have regurgitated this news seem pretty confident that Ninja Assassin is just a code-name for Ninja Scroll, which could easily be possible, but I can't find any particular similarities besides the lead character Jubei. However, not having seen Ninja Scroll nor being familiar with it, I can't exactly say that they're wrong and I'd more like to believe that they're right. But of course, take this as one big rumor for now until it all gets confirmed.
After doing some quick research, The Wachowski's have actually mentioned Ninja Scroll as one of the three primary anime movies that inspired The Matrix, the other two being Ghost in the Shell and Akira. Considering an Akira live-action adaptation just got greenlit at Warner Brothers yesterday, and the TV series of Ghost in the Shell just finished a few years back and is currently airing on Adult Swim, I'd guess that they're not selling the rights for a live-action Ghost in the Shell movie just yet, which in turn leaves Ninja Scroll as the last of the three. Now things are starting to make sense and this actually seems fairly rational.
Ninja Scroll is an anime set in feudal Japan that tells the story of a ninja-for-hire who is forced into fighting an old nemesis who is bent on overthrowing the Japanese government. His nemesis is also the leader of a group of demons each with superhuman powers. The anime was written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and was originally released in Japan in 1993. The film didn't make it to the US until 1996 where it quickly became one of the most popular anime movies ever. If this rumor ends up being true, it's anyone's guess as to whether they'll still set it in feudal Japan or whether it will be modernized.
If this does turn out to be true, this could actually still be very cool. Although I'm not too familiar with Ninja Scroll, I'm confident enough in McTeigue and The Wachowski's that I think this could turn out great, even if it is modernized. No matter what it ends up being, anything with ninjas and The Wachowski's is certain to be awesome.
The last thing I'll say is actually that I'm a bit sad that news is getting out about this. The reason why I loved Cloverfield so much was the incredible secrecy involved with the film and the fact that the trailer in July came from nothing - no one had heard or mentioned this project ever before that moment. I had a feeling that The Wachowski's and Warner Brothers wanted to keep it that way with Ninja Assassin, but Rain broke the news himself in a press conference. Now that the word is out, people are starting too look into it and I'm sure the veil will soon be lifted. Too bad, because this would've been cool to discover completely after the fact when a trailer launched, say, in front of Speed Racer.
Is anyone familiar with Ninja Scroll? What do you think of The Wachowski's remaking it into a live-action film with James McTeigue at the helm?