By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com December 9, 2010 at 2:50AM
The samurai genre (or 'chanbara' if we wanted to show off), is almost as old as cinema itself, with Japanese cinema featuring films focusing on the life of the samurai as far back as the silent era. There are a host of classics in the style, mostly thanks to the work of Akira Kurosawa, but as far as Hollywood is concerned, it doesn't count until you put a white guy in the lead.
Tom Cruise and Ed Zwick teamed in 2003 for the mostly patronizing, very occasionally badass "The Last Samurai" and, in the last few years, Universal has been working towards the project "47 Ronin," based on a legendary incident in Japanese history. When their master was forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) after assaulting a court official, the titular 47 warriors spent two years planning to kill the official, before committing seppuku themselves after taking their revenge.
The script is from "Wanted" co-writer Chris Morgan, rising director Carl Erik Rinsch, who was linked to the "Alien" prequel and "Logan's Run," will make his feature debut, and Keanu Reeves will topline -- we look forward to the plot convolutions explaining that one. Today brings news, via Coming Soon, that, unsurprisingly, considering the current climate, when the film hits theaters, it'll be in 3D.
Universal has confirmed that the 2012 release will be in 3D, and that it'll be 'produced' in the format -- we imagine that means it'll be shot in 3D, although it's not quite clear from the story. Coming Soon also suggests that the film will be heavily stylized, matching the "300" comparisons that have been made in the past, and that the film will include "Lord of the Rings"-style fantasy elements. Like Keanu Reeves being a fucking Japanese samurai.
While we're interested to see Rinsch make his big-screen debut, this isn't a film we're particularly holding our breath for -- with a script from Morgan, it's unlikely it'll be anything other than an empty green-screen action fest. The film's gearing up for production next year, and will hit theaters on November 21, 2012.