Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Rumor: 'Man Of Steel 2' Is On "Permanent Hold" Rumor: 'Man Of Steel 2' Is On "Permanent Hold" New Image From 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Plus J.J. Abrams Talks About First Seeing 'Star Wars' New Image From 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Plus J.J. Abrams Talks About First Seeing 'Star Wars' Is There Still Life In The Franchise? 'Terminator: Genisys' Sets Record For 4th Biggest Debut Ever For A U.S. Movie In China Is There Still Life In The Franchise? 'Terminator: Genisys' Sets Record For 4th Biggest Debut Ever For A U.S. Movie In China Max Landis Wonders If The Flop Of 'American Ultra' Means That Original Movies Are Dead Max Landis Wonders If The Flop Of 'American Ultra' Means That Original Movies Are Dead Quentin Tarantino Talks David O. Russell, ‘True Detective,’ ‘It Follows’ And Much More Quentin Tarantino Talks David O. Russell, ‘True Detective,’ ‘It Follows’ And Much More Colin Trevorrow Expands His Twitter Comments Regarding Gender Imbalance Among Directors In Hollywood Colin Trevorrow Expands His Twitter Comments Regarding Gender Imbalance Among Directors In Hollywood Tom Hardy Rules London Twice Over In New Trailer, Posters & Images For Gangster Tale 'Legend' Tom Hardy Rules London Twice Over In New Trailer, Posters & Images For Gangster Tale 'Legend' Secret New Documentary Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson, More Added To New York Film Festival Line Up Secret New Documentary Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson, More Added To New York Film Festival Line Up ‘American History X’ Director Tony Kaye Says He’s Still In Director’s Jail ‘American History X’ Director Tony Kaye Says He’s Still In Director’s Jail The Lost, Orphaned And Long-Delayed Projects Of Harvey Weinstein The Lost, Orphaned And Long-Delayed Projects Of Harvey Weinstein Watch: 5 Baffling And Unnecessary Uses Of CGI In Movies Watch: 5 Baffling And Unnecessary Uses Of CGI In Movies Warner Bros. Exec Says 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Pushed To 2016 "To Make The Movie Better" Warner Bros. Exec Says 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Pushed To 2016 "To Make The Movie Better" Jason Bateman Admits Nobody Actually Wanted A Sequel To 'Horrible Bosses' Jason Bateman Admits Nobody Actually Wanted A Sequel To 'Horrible Bosses' 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far

On Set: Carl Rinsch's Ambitious Blockbuster '47 Ronin' Starring Keanu Reeves

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 4, 2013 at 12:00PM

Things that have happened in the two-and-a-half years since I was on the set of Universal's hopeful Christmas blockbuster "47 Ronin" in June 2011: A presidential election, a government shutdown, three fall TV seasons, four Marvel movies, two "Fast & Furious" movies, two "Paranormal Activity" movies, three World Series, one complete Kim Kardashian marriage (and another engagement), the release of three albums by One Direction, and one fully-achieved Matthew McConaughey comeback. I've moved house four times, I've fallen in and out of love at least once, I've left my full-time job at The Playlist, and one couple I'm friends with have conceived and given birth to two whole children. What I'm saying is, this has been a long time coming.
1
47 Ronin, set visit

Things that have happened in the two-and-a-half years since I was on the set of Universal's hopeful Christmas blockbuster "47 Ronin" in June 2011: A presidential election, a government shutdown, three fall TV seasons, four Marvel movies, two "Fast & Furious" movies, two "Paranormal Activity" movies, three World Series, one complete Kim Kardashian marriage (and another engagement), the release of three albums by One Direction, and one fully-achieved Matthew McConaughey comeback. I've moved house four times, I've fallen in and out of love at least once, I've left my full-time job at The Playlist, and one couple I'm friends with have conceived and given birth to two whole children. What I'm saying is, this has been a long time coming.

"47 Ronin" had already been in development for some time when it went into production in the spring of 2011. The script by "Fast & Furious" mastermind Chris Morgan was snapped up by Universal in 2008, with Keanu Reeves attached to star, and the following year, it was announced it would be the feature debut of Carl Erik Rinsch, a commercials whizkid who was at one point set to direct the film that became "Prometheus" before his mentor (and father of one-time girlfriend Jordan Scott) Ridley Scott took over. But since then, it's been a rocky road: originally set for a November 2012 release, the film was pushed back to February 2013, and then delayed a further ten months, with a Christmas Day date now creeping up.

Amidst that time, there have been rumors of a troubled production: six months after being on set, I heard from a friend working on another project at Shepperton that the film was getting a whopping 6-8 weeks of reshoots (about the same as "World War Z" wound up receiving), possibly being directed by someone other than Rinsch. I dismissed it as idle gossip at the time, and it's likely that it was something of an exaggeration, but a few months later, The Hollywood Reporter went on record as saying that it had been "a tense, combative shoot" and that the $175 million budget had gone significantly over, with Rinsch kicking against studio control, "preferring to shoot every frame himself," and turning out something closer to a drama than an event movie.

The Wrap went further six months later, reporting "micromanaged" reshoots, and saying that the budget had risen to $225 million, and that the director had been "removed from the editing suite." Other reports denied any of this, saying that Rinsch will still in control, and that the film was still on track. However it turns out (and it would hardly be the first film rumored to have production troubles that turned out to be a huge hit—hello, "Titanic" and, yes, "World War Z"), the stories have undoubtedly tainted the film in the minds of some. But although everyone involved would obviously have been on their best behavior with press on set, it was far from chaos on the day I visited.

This article is related to: Features, 47 Ronin, Carl Erik Rinsch, Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rinko Kikuchi


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates