26 Aug – Inspired by Clint Eastwood's 1992 Oscar-winning classic "Unforgiven", Warner Bros Japan has hired "Villain" director Lee Sang-il to remake the American masterpiece into a Japanese film with Samurai theme, which will be titled "Yurusarezaru Mono", according to The Inquisitr.
The remake of Eastwood's directorial effort has made history, as it would be the first time in the Japanese movie scene that an American film is being remade and released in Japan.
"The original film is acclaimed to be the masterpiece of western films. I am thrilled, happy, and overwhelmed with pleasure to be given this opportunity, as director Clint Eastwood, whom I highly respect, is a filmmaker with an unprecedented talent," said Lee.
20 years ago, "Unforgiven" provided a star-studded cast lineup as it starred a bunch of Academy Award legends like Eastwood himself, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and the late Golden Globe nominee Richard Harris. Written by David Webb Peoples, the Old West movie was nominated for 9 categories at the 65th Academy Awards and had eventually won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor.
Instead of using the original Western angle, the Japanese filmmaker is shifting the setting to Hokkaido, Japan, and the movie will take place in 1880, a time when the native Ainu people were displaced by Japanese settlers. "Inception" and "The Last Samurai" star Ken Watanabe will take on the lead role played by Eastwood in the original, as a samurai who isolates himself from a violent past and comes out of retirement due to poverty.
"It's an honour to know that Lee Sang-il and my good friend Ken Watanabe, with whom I worked closely on in "Letters from Iwo Jima", will be teaming up on a Japanese rendition of "Unforgiven"," Eastwood commented.
Ken Watanabe also said, "To me, director Clint Eastwood is like my father in the film industry and it will be challenging for me to remake one of his best known films. Together with director Lee, we'd like to build our "Unforgiven" in our own way in this vast land of Hokkaido."
"Yurusarezaru Mono" will begin shooting this September and is targeted for a nationwide release in Japan during the fall of 2013.
A release date for Malaysia and Singapore is yet to be confirmed.