Director Carl Rinsch Pulled from Japanese '47 Ronin' Editing Room
It sounds like Universal has a serious problem on their hands. The studio has already pushed back the release of the Japanese action epic 47 Ronin from next February, to Christmas 2013, and that came after a push from this November. Well, now we know why. The Wrap has learned the budget has gotten out of control, currently standing at around $225 million, and director Carl Rinsch has apparently been locked out of the editing room. This comes after the conclusion of a series of reshoots that happened on London which were supposed to "recapture key close-ups of lead actor Keanu Reeves and put him back in the center of the action in the film's most climactic scene." However, that seems to be a small issue in comparison.
One of the sources from the report describes the production as being a "nightmare," which is bad news for the story of a group of 18th century warriors who aim to avenge their master's death. Keanu Reeves was playing the lead in his first big action role since concluding The Matrix trilogy years ago, complete with a mostly Japanese cast besides him. Word from The Wrap says the commercial director has buckled under pressure, letting the budget spiral out of control with Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley overseeing the editing of the film now, and trying to salvage a film with which they seem to be wholly unsatisfied with.
The Wrap, unfortunately, notes that, "firing Rinsch was not a possibility, as the Directors Guild of America requires that if a director completes physical production he must also take part in the reshoots. But with the reshoots done, the director was then pushed aside." This is bad news for the production, which is now trying to craft a marketable movie complete with a new final fight scene that has Reeves taking on a supernatural creature, not to mention a new love scene, close ups and prominently featured lines to give the actor a bigger presence on screen. In addition, the studio has stopped some of the visual effects production, shrunk the staff and only produced scenes that will definitely make the final cut. It sounds like a disaster all around.
This is bad news for those who were looking forward to a visually unique, Japanese-infused action epic with Reeves, but maybe the studio can salvage the movie, only time will tell. Yet another case of a Hollywood studio clashing with the work of a director, trying to get the product they want just so it plays well. We'll still be keeping a close eye on this movie anyway, and will be hoping for the best in the end. Concerned?