Keanu Reeves To Become a Samurai in 47 Ronin
by Alex Billington
December 8, 2008
Like Tom Cruise before him, Keanu Reeves is set to become a samurai swordsmen in an epic period film titled 47 Ronin for Universal Pictures. The screenplay is being written by Chris Morgan, one of the co-writers of Wanted and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The film is based on the true story of a band of samurai swordsmen who avenged the death of their master on December 14th, 1702 in Japan. Reeves will play one of the swordsmen and the film will be a stylized version of the story, mixing fantasy elements of the sort seen in Lord of the Rings with gritty battle scenes like to those in Gladiator.
Apparently Chris Morgan is writing the script and tailoring Reeves' character so that he can fit in the role as one of the swordsmen. Universal is hoping to start shooting next year after a director is hired. Before I even get to my comments on Reeves, they better cast Ken Watanabe in this as one of the samurai or else I will be quite upset. As for Reeves, like Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, I don't completely mind that he's taking on a role like this. I'm a Reeves apologizer and generally like his acting when he's in the right roles. And don't forget that he's only one of the samurai, so we can hope to see other Asian actors as well. Thoughts?
Reader Feedback - 44 Comments
I have been waiting for a movie on this since the french dude in Ronin with Deniro spoke about them while painting his little models of it. K Reeves should look cool all decked out in Samurai gear lol i hope someone snaps him skateboarding whilst wearing his outfit.
werdnafaz on Dec 8, 2008
don't sound bad i agree reeves is good with a good script and director hopefully we some more new ninja movies i cant wait For "Ninja Assassin"
nelson on Dec 8, 2008
Is it just me or is Reeves making better and better movie choices?
Aaron on Dec 9, 2008
Holy(shit)wood would probably find a way to keep reeves' character alive at the end like they did with tom cruize int the last smaurai (shitty movie)....for those of you who don't know..the 47 commited ritual suicide after they avenged their master.
israelidude on Dec 9, 2008
the majesty of this story........and they want reeves??!!! i mean c'mon....keep it native, how the hell does reeves fit into any of this? ****almost as bad as hearing he might be cast as spike off cowboy bebop. urgggghhhhhh.
grham on Dec 9, 2008
Reeves ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Period. He is half Chinese and LOVES Japan (he has said it many times and visits the country often) and will look great in a Samurai gear. And, yes, the guy knows how to choose projects.
Sammy on Dec 9, 2008
Were any of the actors in 300 Persian or Greek? Are any of the actors in Prince of Persia, Persian? This is the fantasy-history genre where Tarantino's soldiers can kill Hitler. Keanu as Japanese samurai will be one of the least fantastical elements in a heavily stylized film. I expect many glorious, physics-defying battle scenes and freaky fx creatures and a high body count. This sounds like a Japanese version of 300, which is to say it sounds awesome! to Aaron: Dude you are so right. Keanu is suddenly making much better movie choices. His next movie is a supporting role in a chick flick (zzzz). But after that he's got Chef with directing god DAVID FINCHER (!), then historical action fantasy 47 Ronin (!), then 2008 Blacklist darling Passengers (!). I am so seriously shocked at the movie news that keeps coming out about Keanu. Even Speed 3 sounded good to me. Maybe he has a new agent or something.
Kanji on Dec 9, 2008
#6 - "He is half Chinese and LOVES Japan (he has said it many times and visits the country often) and will look great in a Samurai gear. And, yes, the guy knows how to choose projects." If he can't act to save his mother's life then so what!! Honestly, the guy is the worst, most wooden, one dimensional actor around. He has one emote- it's in that picture above. He always looks the same and sounds the same. He is the Claytons of leading men. My god he sucks.
not telling on Dec 9, 2008
i wasn't a fan of "last samurai" but this sounds like it will improve on that in every way possible. very interested in seeing a trailer for this. i love the combination of "LOTR fantasy elements" with "gladiator combat". hopefully the story is top notch too.
dan on Dec 9, 2008
'not telling', YOU think that. Many disagree. Keanu is a good actor and a great star.
Sammy on Dec 9, 2008
Maybe you have Reeves confused with someone else. NICK CAGE for instance? Not telling, C'mon!
scrooge on Dec 9, 2008
hes asian? been waitin for a movie about this since i first saw ronin, as long as its an R itll be great, think theyll actually show them all committing sepuku?
harrison on Dec 9, 2008
WOW... Just when I thought Hollywood couldn't get any dumber, they go and do something like this... and totally redeem themselves! PS - I know how they could work Keanu's character into the film. Have Ted from "Bill & Ted" phone-booth time travel to Japan (1702) where learns the way of the samurai to save historical babes and world... while teaching the locals about 80's rock. "I'm a samurai dude who, 300 years ago, totally ravaged Japan, and 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman's Sporting Goods." - Ted "Theodore" Logan
TheGuyInThePJ's on Dec 9, 2008
Oh jebus, this is awful news. Reeves has not the gravitas to take on a role this majestic, and the even worse bit are the 'fantastical' elements. I don't remember any zombies or dwarves in the 47 Ronin Story.
Colin on Dec 9, 2008
.....lol...the Japanese stole the meaning of Samurai from Europe..didn't u know??...thats why Hollywood is doing the film!!
BaDGuY on Dec 9, 2008
I know I gonna love this movie! I've always liked Reeves from Bill & Ted on...whether his movies sucked (often enough) or not (Matrix 1)...
Tschai on Dec 9, 2008
Keanu Reeves as a Samurai? Whoa...
Feo Amante on Dec 9, 2008
So keanu reeves is asian now????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
dac_fan on Dec 9, 2008
I... really dont know what to think.
L on Dec 9, 2008
Haha, I really don't know who is serious and who is making a laugh in this thread. To argue Reeves is a good actor. I can't imagine what such a person describes as good acting. Could Reeves do anything even half as good as "Daniel Plainview" - There Will Be Blood, or "The Joker" - Dark Knight? Obviously not. He has no choice but to take the films made for his natural demeanor or the ones willing to work it to his demeanor.
T on Dec 9, 2008
Shouldn't Samurai be Japanese? Or at least use asian actors.
Jimd on Dec 9, 2008
Sounds like it isn't an ensemble piece, that's for sure . . . I think Seven Samurai would be better for characterization but that's me It'd be effing awesome if they set this film in the present or the future
Jaf on Dec 9, 2008
hopefully he's the lord who the 47 have to avenge, who was tricked and had to commit sepaku. ......i hear the most stalwart of samurai who had carried out sepaku, did so without flinching or exposing a single tinge of pain nor emotion. ure right , 'he does know how to pick his roles' LOL (that would be good.)
grham on Dec 10, 2008
#21- Shouldn't Samurai be Japanese? Or at least use asian actors. EXACTLY my POINT...
BaDGuY on Dec 10, 2008
There he goes again.
feohater on Dec 10, 2008
When will you people get it into your head that it's going to be a fantasy retelling. KEYWORD - FANTASY UNDERSTAND!!!! Stop whining that he ain't Japanese. I think #6 Said it best - "Were any of the actors in 300 Persian or Greek? Are any of the actors in Prince of Persia, Persian? This is the fantasy-history genre where Tarantino's soldiers can kill Hitler. Keanu as Japanese samurai will be one of the least fantastical elements in a heavily stylized film. I expect many glorious, physics-defying battle scenes and freaky fx creatures and a high body count." I think Keanu Reeves is alright. The characters he plays are often wooden and don't give him much of a chance to explore his acting skills. Poor role choices on his part but hey what can ya do. He was an awesome choice for Klaatu in 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'. I'm looking forward to watching this movie too.
TKaihea on Dec 10, 2008
Hmmm, I'm surprised the writer of this Keanu Reeves new movie only knows about Ken Watanabe. Very typical of a movie journalists whose knowledge of Asian stars is only as good as what he reads. C'mon man there are so many good Asian actors in Hollywood as well as in Asia. Ken Watanabe is definitely not the best. Since this is a movie adaptation, no harm in getting Korean or Chinese actors. Anyways, its a COOL decision to Keeanu in this movie. With his Asian roots, he'll be able to pull in not just the fans from US & UK but also from Asia. CAN'T WAIT!
Shawn Gregory on Dec 10, 2008
you could convince the audience that an indian actor is arab for example, but you can't convince them that an american guy is japanese!!!!! even if he is half chinese or whatever, he doesen't look japanese for me. I think Hiroyuki Sanada is the best for a role like this, has a GREAT talent in acting and in MARTIAL ARTS. He studied japanese martial arts since he was 12. for me no Ken watanabe, no keanu only SANADA. HE IS THE BEST.
Jasmine on Dec 11, 2008
Has anyone in this forum seen Little Buddha? In it, Keanu played Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha. Now, traditionally, Buddha's are Japanese, aren't they? However, one reason for Keanu's interest in the role might have been his strong belief in Buddhism. In addition, apparently he IS part Chinese, according to this website biography (http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/keanu_reeves_biog.html), which states, "He was born Keanu Charles Reeves on the 2nd of September, 1964, in Beirut. His father Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a part-Chinese part-Hawaiian geologist had married English showgirl Patricia Taylor there, the couple having met after he'd seen her performing at a nightclub. His name, Keanu, is Hawaiian for "cool breeze over the mountains"." I agree that he has chosen better and better roles, however I have seen the new TDTESS, and while I enjoyed his performance, I felt the movie itself left me wanting something more. The ending (I'll not spoil it for anyone here) was not enough for me. But I loved Keanu in the Matrix series, of course, and in Constantine, Something's Gotta Give, and even A Walk in the Clouds. I'm excited to see this 47 Ronin.
bliu on Dec 16, 2008
Sounds aweome. I doubt Reeves will ever win an Oscar, but he has participated in a lot of really great (great as in enjoyable and entertaining) movies.
MBD on Dec 19, 2008
I don't think anyone should have to rewrite a role so that Reeves can play it. They should just hire an actor who can play the role as is. I'm not dissing Reeves. He's probably not the worst actor in the world. Also, I don't think he can pass for Japanese. Fine, he's half Asian. I spotted that because I'm Asian and recognized that he has Asian features, but to most people who watch his movies/follow his career, he looks white.
Empress Woo on Dec 29, 2008
Colin, you are seriously mistaken. Keanu will provide the gravity and the majesty required to embellish this great film. I am looking forward to seeing him do it, because I know how much it will heighten his career. He will look amazing and convince anyone on this page who refered to bill and teds to eat his words.
mishkabelle on Dec 31, 2008
I once came across a great black monolith that stood five miles high and was made entirely of lead. While it wasn't magnetic, of course, such was its great leaden density that it created its own gravitational field. We were all attracted to this great majestic mass of metal for that very reason, even while we all knew it was nothing more than one amazingly dense (more dense than gold!), solid block of dead weight lead. Truly a paperweight of the GODS! And etched in the majesty of majestic majesticness on the surface were the words KEANU REEVES As one we murmured, "Whoa!" But you know, I like Keanu - he was really good in THE GIFT, 15 movies ago.
Feo Amante on Dec 31, 2008
Whilst I am on the floor, dear friend Feo awaiting anxiously for the titters of laughter to vacate once and for all ( I WILL not read your comment again) I just have to say; such is the beauty of Keanu, He may be misunderstood by some, but I get it. Could Neo or Klaatu be played by Brad pitt, George Clooney, Tom Cruise? No way! He has better acting ability than those guys. (OK, well Clooney does a fine comedy.) .....Similarily, he would look angrier, tougher and hotter than those guys suited up swinging a sword. Please....Dare to disagree....
mishkabelle on Jan 1, 2009
http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/12/a_field_guide_to_the_complete.html#photo=24 Now thats what Im talking about...
mishkabelle on Jan 1, 2009
Hey! Don't get me wrong! I LOVED Keanu in MATRIX. LOVED him ... THERE! But does he have to play Neo in every role after that (then again, does Anthony Hopkins HAVE to keep playing Hannibal in every one of HIS movies)? As for Klaatu, here are some actors who would/could have been better: Christian Bale Cate Blanchett (why not a female Klaatu?) Orlando Bloom (why not an androgynous Klaatu?) Leonardo DiCaprio Macaulay Culkin (he would have delivered the weird!) Matt Damon Ryan Gosling Kevin Grevioux Marcia Gay Harding Samuel L. Jackson (Now HE would have been some Klaatu!) Viggo Mortenson Samantha Morton (There's just something kinda alien about her anyway) Daniel Radcliffe Ryan Reynolds (and if you don't think Ryan could pull it off, then you haven't seen THE NINES) Uma Thurman Christopher Walken (Whoa! Imagine THAT!) Denzel Washington Emily Watson Elijah Wood In short, I can think of an awful LOT of actors who would have made a far better and more interesting Klaatu!
Feo Amante on Jan 3, 2009
your an idiot feo
jim on Jan 8, 2009
The reason David fincher wants to Direct keanu is because Keanu does not lie on screen . like River Phoenix said "don't be jaded by critics are what people say just bring it from the heart " thats what counts.
jim on Jan 8, 2009
Exactly my point, Feo. Keanu will not be playing Neo again in this much loved action flick. (Ditto on the comment on Anthony Hopkins). Keanu will come to the fore with this role; he will not look slightly gay as Tom Cruise did in The Last Samauri, or Bradd Pitt in Troy. Nor will he have the brute Aussie slug of our dear Russell Crowe but something in between, which only he can portray. The role is 18th century tough crazy chinese guy, who puts honour above all. (where has honour gone from the 21ST century man?) *sigh*. Is David Fincher directing this film? I thought he was directing Chef which sound absoloutely hilarious!
mishkabelle on Jan 8, 2009
Feo, another point... Christopher Walken is just brilliant but he would have added too much of another dimension to this film. It is more artistic to have exactly who you think would be best playing the role, n'est pa?
mishkabelle on Jan 9, 2009
Keanu would be good, but I would also love to see Kane Koshugi in one of the roles. Keep the shoguns in the family!!
jesephanie on Jan 19, 2009
he would be a awsome samurai. he is not one dimensional at all. he just usually plays wooden characters. doesnt anyone remember the replacements?
reeves is the man on Mar 11, 2009
Daniel Henney and Takeshi Kaneshiro are both hot I would like to see them as samurai
Sweeper on Apr 20, 2009
Feo, I agree The Gift was his must agressive character ever and totally awesome. I liked his Klaatu. But I don't think those actors you listed were interested in being a alien in a scifi movie away-just saying.
Sweeper on Apr 20, 2009
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