While many in the online film community are quick to bemoan any announcements of remakes, not an eye was batted when it was announced earlier this year that Clint Eastwood’s seminal 1992 western “Unforgiven” would be remade into a Japanese-language film set in 1880s Japan. That’s probably largely due to both the long and storied history of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films being refashioned into Westerns and the inspired choice to swap out the archetypical gunslinger for the lone samurai. And the trailer that dropped yesterday (via Twitch) shows just how malleable that story of an aging killer attempting to reform is.
Despite being entirely in Japanese, the trailer still gives a great sense of the tone -- just as grim as the original film, in case you’re wondering -- and, as we predicted, Ken Watanabe settles nicely into the world-weary shoes of Eastwood. The rest of the short trailer shows off the setting and looks like a worthy companion to the earlier film.
The Warner Japan-produced remake, “Yurusarezaru mono,” is helmed by “Villain” director Lee Sang-il and takes place in “the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, [at] a time when Japanese settlers were displacing the native Ainu people.” Watanabe is the lead who, like Eastwood in the 1992 film, takes one last job as a bounty killer.
“Yurusarezaru mono” hits theaters next fall in Japan. No word on when English-speaking countries will get to see the film.