Has the studio removed the 47 Ronin director?
There are always rumours going around about films as soon as there is any sign of a change of plan in production, an increased budget, some reshoots, or any unplanned changes. For those who follow film productions you'll know that none of this is unusual, budgets change and reshoots happen on just about every film, and any project manager knows about re-planning.
However the stories of the 47 Ronin production have been getting worse and worse and there's now a rumour that the director has been removed from the editing room with the studio taking over and neither groups are making any statement about the story as yet.
We've heard the usual stories of the release date changing, budget increases, of nothing being released or heard from the production and now we're hearing of reshoots and the most terrible of rumours, the director removed from the editing room.
The story is that Carl Rinsch, the director of 47 Ronin and a first time feature director at that, has been removed from the production when it entered the editing room mainly because they couldn't remove him before that and he had to be involved in the reshoots themselves, those are the Directors Guild of America rules so there.
Now it's all conjecture from a source through The Wrap and /Film at the moment but Yahoo News also released the story and apparently asked Universal for a comment on the story but they declined, suggesting that perhaps they can't refute the story.
There were other things said in the article but the core of it is that the reshoots were to pull Keanu Reeves character back into the final battle sequence and feature him more prominently in the film as well as adding some new scenes throughout, something that should concern the potential audience as this doesn't appear to be a simple case of pick-up shots of footage that was missed but altering the story. Well, that and getting the big selling name actor into the fore of the film when it looks like he's not been.
Why this is happening is anyone's guess, and people are doing just that. It could be any number of reasons but the most obvious is that the studio has a big star cast name that isn't right in there in the key sequence they want him to be for the money shots. Another reason is that the final version of the film wasn't that good and they really did step in to save it. Again, it's all conjecture.
There have been "source" counter claims against that of a swelling budget but then there are references to comments from other sources who say that the director has been struggling with the size of the production and the overly ambitious production, something that has always been acknowledged for the tale of the 47 Ronin.
It is clear though that there are problems with the film, it has been delayed a number of times and rumours often have some semblance of truth so at the very least there are problems with the budget and the editing, whether the director has been moved out or not is another matter and whether the production has rocketed to an incredible US $225 million passing the budget of US $175 million that Universal claim is an entirely different story that may never truly come to light.
Putting aside all the rumour for the moment it does seem inconceivable that you would assign a US $175 million project to someone who is new to the process of dealing with a project of this size and surely you would have monitored them and assigned them extremely competent second in commands, and if that's the case why haven't they guided and educated them from day one? How can a production be allowed to get to this state?
You could liken this to a football team where the manager is sacked when the players don't perform for one or two games, a practice that always seems to punish the wrong people and not favour new and inexperience managerial talent - if you don't make the team perform in a few games you're out.
Surely you would think the studio would provide more support and mentoring, more than that you would think that they wouldn't assign a new feature director to such a large production. Give them a smaller production first and build up their experience.
If even half of the stories are true then it's clear that 47 Ronin is in trouble and that could well mean the final film will be edited together by many different voices with different viewpoints, the final being the one of getting something released that earns the most money possible ignoring whatever the director was trying to do.