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Here’s the full trailer for a film we’ve been curious about for a while: the Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. Ken Watanabe stars in the role that stands as one of Eastwood’s defining moments. There are no subtitles in this trailer, but anyone familiar with Eastwood’s original will know all they need to understand to get the idea here.

The remake changes the setting of the story to a remote locale in Japan, while keeping the time period in the late 1800s. The switch from “western” to “samurai movie” proves to be a pretty minor switch (no surprise there, given the relationship between the genres) and in general this looks like a pretty faithful remake. Check out loads of new footage below. Read More »

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Christopher McQuarrie

Everyone assumes Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie is going to direct Mission: Impossible 5, but that may no longer be the case. He’s apparently turning his attention back to a project he was attached to in 2010. It’s called Unforgiven and is a feature adaptation of a UK miniseries about a woman who serves a 15-year prison sentence for the murder of two cops who came to her house to evict her. When she gets out, she’s targeted for revenge.

Angeline Jolie was once attached with McQuarrie when GK Films first bought the rights. That version lapsed, but now it seems the project is once again a priority for McQuarrie and he’s not only going to write, but direct as well. Read More »

Here’s a brief look at footage from Unforgiven (Yurusarezaru mono), aka the Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 western, here with Ken Watanabe in the lead role. We’re given quick glimpses of the scenery, as well as what appears to be the town to which Watanabe’s swordsman, newly out of retirement, heads to collect a bounty. We also see quick views of the major characters, and those who know the original film even in passing will likely be able to ID who’s who pretty fast. Read More »

Conan the Barbarian isn’t the only guy getting the Unforgiven treatment. The 1991 Clint Eastwood western has become a genre landmark, essentially nailing shut the concept of the anti-hero created when the spaghetti western subgenre flowered with A Fistful of Dollars in 1964.

Now Ken Watanabe is playing the Eastwood role in a Japanese-produced remake of Unforgiven, which is set in Japan in 1880. Lee Sang-il directs, with part of the film oriented around Japan’s transition out of very secluded tradition to a more modern society able to come to terms with outside influence. That conflict has been played out in Japanese cinema many times before, especially as many samurai films were essentially rebranded westerns. So this remake seems like nearly an inevitability.

See some shots from the film below, along with a few other news items:

  • Simon West will direct a remake of the Burt Reynolds film Heat,
  • the new Mortal Kombat film has a rough budget,
  • Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and a bizarre stranger caught in Oldboy set pics,
  • and an Oldboy cast member talks about Brolin’s physical transformations for the film.

Read More »

The relationship between samurai films and westerns goes back many years, thanks in large part to remakes of Akria Kurosawa films; his 1954 film Seven Samurai was remade as the western The Magnificent Seven in 1960, and the defining Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood movie A Fistful of Dollars remade Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, without explicit credit given to Kurosawa.

Now there is a major western-to-samurai remake in development, and it is even another one that involves a now-classic Clint Eastwood production. Warner Japan plans to remake Clint Eastwood’s 1992 opus Unforgiven as a samurai period drama, with Ken Watanabe in a version of the central role played by Eastwood. Read More »

unforgiven-jolie

GK Films is seriously in the Angelina Jolie business. (And so are we, lately.) The company financed The Tourist, which Jolie finished shooting not long ago (with co-star Johnny Depp under director Florian Henckel von Donnsersmarck) and will bankroll the Bosnian War film Jolie is writing and directing.

And now GK has lined up Christopher McQuarrie to write an adaptation of the British television revenge miniseries Unforgiven. Read More »

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