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Ken Watanabe to Lead a Japanese Samurai Remake of 'Unforgiven'

by
August 20, 2012
Source: Variety

Ken Watanabe

There's plenty of Japanese films that have been imported to the United States for remakes, mostly from the horror genre, but now Japan is taking one of our films and giving it the remake treatment overseas. Warner Japan is developing a remake of the 1992 western Unforgiven starring Clint Eastwood, and Ken Watanabe is attached to take the role originated by the classic Man with No Name. However, this version of the tale, while still set in 1880, will see the lead character as a samurai with a fearsome reputation, who is living in retirement with his Ainu wife, when poverty and a large bounty tempt him back into action again.

Variety says the story takes place on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, a time when Japanese settlers were displacing the native Ainu people. Sitting in the director's chair is Lee Sang-il, the man behind the Japanese film Villain, a movie which landed plenty of accolades in the acting category at the 2011 Japan Academy Prize awards. It seems interesting that Japan is remaking one of Clint Eastwood's classic westerns as the role that launched his career was that of A Fistful of Dollars, the Sergio Leone film which was actually based on Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo. And we've now gone full circle. This film may not get much of a release United States theaters, but you can bet we'll look for it on home video.

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  • DAVIDPD
    Sounds very interesting. Wantanabe-san always delivers great performances. He was masterful in THE LAST SAMURAI. My only reservation is the time period. I would have liked to see it set much earlier, by 1880 the culture of the samurai was in full decline. The Sengoku Period would have been my preference.
    • Nielsenover9000
      Even better if the samurai culture is in decline,it fits the story of Unforgiven.
  • Isildur_of_Numenor
    Very interested. If this turns out half as good as Yojimbo, it will be a great film.
    • Illithid Dude
      Yojimbo is one of the best films ever made. Sort of setting the bar high, there...
      • Isildur_of_Numenor
        I know, totally agree... it can't be matched, that's why I said half as good. :)
  • grimjob
    Well this is interesting! Dig it, love Unforgiven, love Watanabe, definitely excited for this!
  • ooo
    I loooove Yojinbo. Watanabe is a good actor but Mihune Toshiro is the greatest Samurai actor.
  • mikedo2007
    Yeah and the remake haters that attack Hollywood for remaking American films stay silent over this, oh the irony and hypocrisy.

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