When the Keanu Reeves samurai epic 47 Ronin was pushed from Fall 2012 to February 2013, some feared that the movie was troubled. The studio denied problems, saying the film needed more time to finish visual effects. Ronin was surprisingly absent from Comic Con, reshoots in full swing, and the release date was pushed back again (this time to Christmas 2013) which got even more people speculating about troubles between the studio and the commercial filmmaker turned first time feature director. And now a report claims that Universal has pulled director Carl Erik Rinsch from the editing room, and is now being overseen by Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley.

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We haven’t seen much so far from 47 Ronin, the film that Carl Erik Rinch directed with Keanu Reeves, as a semi-remake of a story that has been filmed in Japan several times. We know the movie also features Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi, and we know that it is an effects-heavy 3D affair. In fact, the release was just pushed back a couple months, reportedly so more work can be done on the final effects renders.

Yesterday Jeff Snider from Variety tweeted about info on a test screening of the film, but along with that he shot out a low-res image of a poster for the film. The banded image features four character portraits, with text labels Outsider, Demon, Witch and Savage. All combined, that contributes to our understanding that this take on the story is fairly different from previously filmed versions.

Check out the small poster image below. Read More »

Thursday afternoon at CinemaCon, Universal Pictures presented footage, clips and trailers from their upcoming 2012 line-up and beyond. Included in the presentation were clips from Snow White and the Huntsman, Oliver Stone‘s Savages, Seth MacFarlane‘s TED, The Bourne Legacy, Les Miserables, Judd Apatow‘s This Is 40, Carl Erik Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin, Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion, and R.I.P.D.. Per usual, I recorded a video blog after the presentation with Alex from FirstShowing and Frosty from Collider. We give our reactions to the footage without spoilers or in depth descriptions. Watch the video blog now embedded after the jump.

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Once slated for mid-November this year, the new 3D version of the classic samurai story 47 Ronin will have to wait for February 2013 to play for audiences. Universal has pushed the film back to February 8, 2013, without citing any specific reason. (As is usually the case with date changes.) The new opening date places it against the Nicholas Sparks film Safe Haven, and a week before A Good Day to Die Hard. Read More »

First Look: Keanu Reeves on the Set of ’47 Ronin’

Pretty minor stuff here, but here’s the first look at Keanu Reeves in costume for the Carl Erik Rinsch film 47 Ronin. The movie is a remake, in name at least, of a Japanese film from 1947, but what we’ve heard about the film so far suggests that Rinch is going for something a bit more his own than just a straight remake. The story has been around far longer than sixty-some years, so Rinsch has many previous versions to draw on, but also the leeway to give his own spin on the tale. (Which includes shooting this version in 3D.)

Rinsch is noted for being a Ridley Scott protege, and he was once attached to direct a film related to Alien way before that movie evolved into Prometheus, with Scott taking directorial duties. Rinsch was also set to direct Logan’s Run before dropping off that project (making room for Nicolas Winding Refn) and to make 47 Ronin.

We don’t have actual stills from the film yet, but after the break you’ll find a shot of Reeves in character, and images of a couple other players in their film garb. Read More »

Commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch‘s big screen debut 47 Ronin won’t hit theaters until November 2012, but he somehow found time to shoot a new short film/commercial for Mercedes-Benz during the film’s post production period.

Rinsch’s commercials show an amazing sense of imagination, visual effects artistry and composition. We’ve profiled his amazing commercials on the site, more than once. You might recall that Rinsch was originally tapped to direct a prequel/remake of Alien, before Fox convinced Ridley Scott to helm the project himself. Rinsch’s futuristic action thriller short film The Gift quickly spread around the internet, sparking a bidding war to turn the short film into a feature. Before his first film is even finished, Rinsch has become one of the most in demand director’s in new Hollywood — his name seems to appear on every other big tentpole short list these days.

“Escape The Map” is set inside the computer world — a virtually-rendered Hong Kong. It looks like something like what I imagine Rinsch would’ve have pitched for Tron: Legacy — the result looks kind of a mash-up of The Matrix and Inception. Mariah Bonner plays Marie, someone who finds herself and her C 63 AMG Coupé trapped inside Google Streetview. The short also features music created by Oscar-winning composer Atticus Ross‘ (The Social Network) company 1159.

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Unless someone is invited to go to set by a studio, actors rarely talk in public during the filming of a major Hollywood motion picture. Keanu Reeves, however, who is currently shooting Universal’s 3D action film 47 Ronin, directed by Carl Erik Rinsch, took some time off from shooting the film to speak to the Los Angeles Times. He’d just finished 34 days of shooting in Budapest, Hungary with the production now scheduled to move to London, England. During the discussion, Reeves dropped several new nuggets of information about the film, scheduled for release November 2012, including what language it would be in, his character motivations and more. Read his quotes after the jump. Read More »

Keanu Reeves is currently shooting the epic period samurai film 47 Ronin, directed by acclaimed commercial director and Ridley Scott protege Carl Erik Rinsch. Based on a true 18th Century Japanese story, the film follows a band of samurai swordsmen who are shamed into becoming the titular ronin — a Japanese word meaning lord-less samurai, and must avenge the death of their master. They construct a huge plan and sacrifice everything to see it through. Wanted screenwriter Chris Morgan has described the project as a “great, Gladiator-esque, 300-like big action movie with samurai and ninja.” Reeves recently talked with MTV, and described the movie as “kind of a western”.

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