Who knew Leonardo DiCaprio was such an anime geek? Where does he get the time to watch this stuff in-between the $20 million dollar Hollywood movies and supermodel banging? Who knows, but good for him. After getting his grubby little hands on the rights to make a live-action version of “Akira”, DiCaprio has now entered the land of ninja assassins. “Ninja Scroll” assassins, to be exact. Jack Dawson is set to produce a live-action version of the popular Japanese anime “Ninja Scroll”, which for the longest time I thought was what the Wachowski Brothers were doing with their “Ninja Assassin” movie. Apparently not, as images from that movie that have appeared online have shown. To get it done, DiCaprio and Warners has tapped newcomer Alex Tse to write the project.
Ranking alongside “Akira” and “Ghost in the Shell” as one of the most popular animes outside of Japan, “Ninja” is set in feudal Japan and follows a ninja who must fight eight demonic warriors in order to save Japan. The hard-R movie, released in 1993 in Japan, featured a villain with stone skin, a hunchback with a wasp nest as his hump and a woman whose snake tattoos come to life.
Tse is no stranger to adult fantasy; he’s the co-writer of Warners’ “Watchmen,” Zach Snyder’s upcoming R-rated take on the dark, mature-themed Alan Moore comic miniseries with its serious treatment of superheroes.
The fact that Tse is no stranger to the genre gives me hope this thing might work out. Then again, I’m not sure if a live-action version of a ninja movie set in feudal Japan is gonna really play. Yeah, it works as an anime from Japan, but as a live-action movie from Hollywood? Chances are this thing is gonna get tweak to within an inch of its life, which would suck, but them’s the reality, I suppose.
Below: Trailer for the original anime. Will it play as live-action?