Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven is turning Japanese, with Ken Watanabe in the lead. The remake is titled Yurusarezaru Mono and is set in Northern Japan in the 1880s. Director Lee Sang-Il (Villain) is at the helm, with Akira Emoto and Koichi Sata as co-stars. Yurusarezaru Mono begins production in Hokkaido in the fall. Full disclosure: I declined a starring role in the film to start a samurai-themed donut shop (Yojimdonuts aka Akira Crullersawa); I was replaced as manager by Christoph Waltz.
Samurai movies and westerns have cross-influenced each other for decades, of course. Two seminal westerns were remakes of seminal jidaigeki/chambara films — The Seven Samurai became The Magnificent Seven, Yojimbo became A Fistful of Dollars. It should be noted that Yojimbo was inspired by John Ford westerns and a film adaptation of Dashiell Hammet’s The Glass Key. Many have also cited Hammett’s Red Harvest as an influence on Yojimbo.
I’m looking forward to this since I love both westerns and samurai movies. In fact, taking westerns and remaking them as samurai films is a pretty cool idea. I mentioned a while back that I would’t mind Lone Wolf and Cub as a western if someone tried it, and I think a lot could be done with a samurai Wild Bunch. Blending the genres is fun as well, and perhaps a new riff on the Toshiro Mifune/Charles Bronson film Red Sun may be in order.[Via /Film]