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Oh Great, Someone Just Got The Remake Rights To 69 Kurosawa Movies, Including 19 Unmade Scripts

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 23, 2011 1:38 AM
6 Comments
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Well, if this is proof of anything, it's that the remake/reboot phenomenon knows absolutely no boundaries.

Relatively new Los Angeles-based production house Splendent Media -- who are behind the forthcoming Al Pacino film "Wild Salome" -- have just signed a deal to represent the rights to 69 projects from the legendary Akira Kurosawa including 19 unmade scripts. If that number seems absurdly high, just remember, his writing credits far outnumber the films he directed and clearly, he had a lot sitting in the archives as well. The deal doesn't cover the remakes that are currently in development including "The Seven Samurai" (which recently had Scott Mann hired to take it on); "High & Low" (which last we heard was being written by Chris Rock with Mike Nichols directing); "Ikiru" (once mooted as a Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks joint) and "Drunken Angel." So what does it include? Pretty much everything else including "Rashomon," "Ran," "Yojimbo," "Dreams" and "Kagemusha" which is kind of totally fucking depressing.

In case you had any doubts as to the intentions at work here, there's this: "In recent years, countless American and European filmmakers have expressed intense interest in remaking Kurosawa's films," Hideyoshi Kato said. "To help streamline this process, we are extremely pleased to have found in Ms. Yamada [of Splendent] a representative who possesses a deep passion for Kurosawa's work as well as strong connections to both the Japanese and U.S. entertainment industries."

Basically, it means, they have been trying to find a way to get their ducks in a row so they can best exploit Kurosawa's great works. "We are thrilled and deeply honored to have been entrusted to represent this spectacular treasure trove of films and screenplays, and to help contemporary filmmakers introduce a new generation of moviegoers to these unforgettable stories," Splendent honcho Sakiko Yamada said. Of course, the idea that the best way to honor Kurosawa's films would be to let them speak for themselves has escaped everyone involved. But you don't make money on movies that are decades old without finding some new revenue stream.

Granted, not every Kurosawa film is a masterpiece and not every remake is a bad idea. Getting the unmade scripts in production? Sure, that could be a fun idea. But when every one of Kurosawa's films are all rounded up together like cheap prostitutes looking for the highest bidder, the whole enterprise seems pretty sleazy. [Variety]

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6 Comments

  • alexis | August 25, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    i want to die now

  • kintaro.west | August 23, 2011 6:35 AMReply

    Certain films you just don't touch...and his films are one of them.....but Hollywood is Hollywood and our cries are falling on deaf ears.

  • Glass | August 23, 2011 2:27 AMReply

    @why care

    Psst... they kind of have to watch all of these remakes and reboots - they're a website that reviews all new movies that come out.

  • Jessica Kiang | August 23, 2011 2:18 AMReply

    Watching me reading this would have been great fun for anyone who really enjoys seeing people's hearts shatter into a thousand tiny pieces.

  • why care | August 23, 2011 2:14 AMReply

    Why do people make such a big deal about remakes and reboots? Do they wipe any existence of the original? Do they change the original in any way? Is it possible to still rent (or stream) the original?

    Can you avoid the new one by not watching it?

    That's the biggest one. People will produce a product or service that makes money and is popular. Remakes and reboots make a lot of money. A whole new generation of audiences are introduced to a story, and obviously fans of the original are also interested (if you didn't go to a few yourself, you wouldn't have an opinion on the quality of how remakes are handled).

    It's simple, if you truly don't want remakes... don't go. In the end, it really doesn't matter. You only have yourself and people like you to blame for remakes.

  • Univarn | August 23, 2011 2:14 AMReply

    In fairness, you could make an argument that more films are remakes of Kurosawa's movies than they actually give him credit for - and he gets credit for a hell of a lot.

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