Rinko Kikuchi Joins '47 Ronin' With Keanu Reeves

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 1, 2011 9:09 AM
10 Comments
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Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki & Tadanobu Asano Also Join The Cast



Are you ready for a big budget samurai movie based on a legendary incident in Japanese history where everybody dies at the end (though we'll guess they'll change that part here)? Then get ready for "47 Ronin." The long-in-development blockbuster over at Universal is headed towards cameras with Keanu Reeves set to star, and today he's been joined by four Japanese thesps.

Variety reports that Rinko Kikuchi ("Babel," "The Brothers Bloom"), Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki and Tadanobu Asano have joined the film that will be directed by Ridley Scott protegé Carl Erik Rinsch. Penned by "Wanted" co-writer Chris Morgan, the film follows the story of the titular 47 warriors who, following the forced seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) of their master after assaulting a court official, spend two years plotting revenge on the official and then commit seppuku themselves when the deed is done. Kinda dark no? We imagine that messy ending will be altered to be a bit more audience-friendly.

The film will be "produced" in 3D -- which we hope actually means "shot" in 3D and is not just a fancy way of explaining that it will be a pre-visualized, post-conversion job like they're gonna do on the "Clash Of The Titans" sequel -- and will hit theaters on November 11, 2012.

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10 Comments

  • Mr. Arkadin | March 5, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    because it worked so great in "Dragon Seed", why not just skip all the 'neses in this film for the big roles too...

    also:

    Asano stay indie, don't just take any easy-money-role they throw at you for fuck sake.

    Keanu we get it, you have small eyes. You already failed in "Little Buddha" just do a "Bill & Ted" film in 3-D instead.

    /rant

  • Cde. | March 3, 2011 8:34 AMReply

    It's got nothing to do with 'pretending to know how Japanese feel' and everything to do with how ridiculous it is for Hollywood to throw Keanu Reeves into the legend of the 47 ronin, while retaining the setting and period.
    This isn't an original story like The Last Samurai where it made some kind of sense for a white guy to be running around with samurai. It's a pre-existing key national story for Japan. The inclusion of Keanu Reeves is obviously motivated by Hollywood's lack of interest in astory that doesn't involve a caucasian lead.

  • REALITY | March 2, 2011 8:37 AMReply

    To the sanctimonious,

    Who are you to tell us what our "proper" cultural representation is? Such ignorance and absurd egotism. I am half Japanese and have lived in Japan. Keanu Reeves is insanely popular in Japan. We would happily appropriate him if we could, and now we can. I had no interest in the Last Samurai, but it too was very popular in Japan. Maybe ignorant Americans shouldn't pretend to know how Japanese feel.

  • The REALIST | March 2, 2011 6:51 AMReply

    To PAUL:

    It's not just "fan boys" that will complain. It's others people (like me, an African American) who clearly sees that Asians are not given proper lead-roles in Hollywood and even more so they are over-looked, especially when it comes to properly portraying particular ethnicities & cultures. If your group of people/culture was NOT properly portrayed and/or not given lead roles due to management thinking that an "Asian face doesn't sell tickets" then I'm sure you'd be upset & even offended. How would you feel if they made a live-action version of "Family Guy" but they used an all Latino Cast? Are you catching the point?

    Keanu Reeves is cool. But once again we're going with the "Last Samurai" & "Shogun" formula of casting a caucasian or white-looking lead to ensure to westerners that the movie will be an all-english language film & it won't be foreign. That we Americans won't be scared. (As we all know, us westerners are afraid of non-english language films with subtitles)

  • Cde. | March 2, 2011 5:46 AMReply

    Paul, the 'Let Me In' issue is totally different to this.
    Hollywood feeling the need to shoehorn Keanu Reeves into a feudal Japanese legend would be offensive if it weren't so comical.

  • Earl McGraw | March 2, 2011 2:55 AMReply

    If that photo's supposed to be Keanu Reeves, it's not. It's some Asian babe.

  • paul | March 2, 2011 12:45 AMReply

    I wonder if people (fan boys) will begin to complain about the fact that Keanu Reeves isn't Japanese or full blood Asian in a loud, pretentious and odorous way; that when the movie is finally released, everyone's weary of the negativity and the movie ends up barely squeaking out a profit.
    (Let Me In)

  • adgy | March 1, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    Wow, this is quite a bit of casting. I wasn't very optimistic about the project before, but now I think I might actually be excited.

  • sigga | March 1, 2011 10:12 AMReply

    If that photo's supposed to be Kou Shibasaki it's not. It's Maki Horikita.

  • mj | March 1, 2011 10:04 AMReply

    u have a wrong picture of tadanobu asano. the one you have is aoi miyazaki. asano is male actor.

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