47 Ronin was already something of an oddity, being a 3D adaptation of an 18th century Japanese folk tale, which just so happened to star Keanu Reeves alongside an otherwise Japanese cast. The news that director Carl Rinsch may have been barred from the editing room on instruction from Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley may tip curiosity into worry, as these situations rarely end well. The studio was supposedly unhappy at an escalating budget and Keanu’s downplayed role (left out altogether from the movie’s finale) in the footage Rinsch shot, and wanted to fire him earlier but for Director’s Guild stipulations requiring him to be present for reshoots.
The movie seemed a risk to begin with, especially at the costs being thrown around (between $175m-225m). Unfortunately, I can’t think of any example where studio intervention has done anything but made a bad situation worse, and cuts are reportedly being made to the effects work to bring the budget under control. There’s plenty of time before the scheduled Christmas 2013 release date, so hopefully someone will be able to pull this mess together. Otherwise, we may end up with a sad Keanu on our hands, and that would be most egregious.[via Collider]