'Warrior' Director Gavin O'Connor to Helm a 'Yakuza' Crime Thriller
Even though I don't watch MMA or any sort of martial arts, Gavin O'Connor's Warrior was one of my favorite movies of 2011. It's a great sports drama which featured fantastic performances from Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, and Nick Nolte. Deadline reports that O'Connor has found a new project, a contemporary Japanese crime thriller called Yakuza which is about - you guessed it - the Japanese equivalent to the mafia. The plot follows an American intelligence guru who gets in over his head dealing with the head of the crime syndicate, slipping even deeper into the seedy underworld of the Japanese criminal organization.
O'Connor can do some truly excellent work when he's given the right amount of control, so I'm happy to hear that he and producer Josh Fagin will be rewriting Chap Taylor's original script for Yakuza. This project sounds much closer to Pride and Glory than Miracle, O'Connor's Disney hockey movie that's about as far from crime thriller as you can get. I'm excited to see what he can bring to the table here, especially culturally, since many writers easily fall into the trap of stereotypes and O'Connor doesn't strike me as someone who would be fine with lazy writing. No word on when this one gets rolling, but O'Connor is still pursuing the Channing Tatum-produced Neverland and also has a film called Samurai in development at Warner Bros. We'll see which one of these gets off the ground first.