Unforgiven adapted for Japanese cinema
It's amusing to think that some of the classic westerns had their roots in Japanese Samurai film The Seven Samurai and now one of the modern day westerns, perhaps one of the best, toughest and directed by and starring one of the classic western actors Clint Eastwood, is about to be remade into a Japanese Samurai film.
That's exactly what is happening as news comes through that Eastwood's superb Unforgiven is about to be adapted into a Japanese Samurai film starring the equally iconic Ken Watanabe.
Apparently the Korean-Japanese writer and director Sang-Il Lee sold the idea to Warner Bros. last year and is set to direct the film which will be entitled Yurusarezaru Mono (A Thing That Can't Be Forgiven).
The film is set in the same time period and stars Ken Watanabe in the Clint Eastwood role as a Samurai who carries a bloody past but now lives peacefully on the Japanese island of Hokkaido with his wife who is an Ainu, the aboriginal people of the island. His life is turned upside down and he returns to his past life for one last task.
According to the story in The Hollywood Reporter this is the first "local remake of an Oscar Best Picture Winner" - I think that means the first non-US remake of the winner of the Oscar's Best Picture, I wonder if it is the first remake of a Best Picture winner full stop?
It's an interesting circle to see, but then again Unforgiven is a superb film and story populated with a heavy dose of reality, grittiness and some superb actors and performances, plus cowboys and samurai match perfectly - the lone gunslinger and the lone swordsman.
You know if this was being remade in any other way I'd be horrified, but there's a certain symmetry to this and quite an interest too.