Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin Starts Shooting This Month

Yeah, I still can’t believe Hollywood has cast Keanu Reeves in a Samurai movie. Sheesh. I know ol Keanu has that exotic look about him, but a Japanese character? Then again, he picked up kung fu for “The Matrix”, so I suppose he could pick up Samurai sword action for “47 Ronin”, too. Of course, from a business standpoint it makes sense to cast Reeves. Then again, why they would set the film in Feudal Japan to begin with instead of, say, some fantasy landscape ala “Lord of the Rings” or something along that line, is a total mystery to me. While the 47 Ronin story is Japanese, it’s not like they couldn’t have converted it into another format, but still keep the basic premise of masterless warriors looking to avenge their master’s murder.

Anyways, the film is set to officially go into production March 14 for a 2012 release date, and here’s your plot synopsis (via IGN):

Reeves plays “Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors. … Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before.”

Besides Reeves in the lead, the cast includes: Hiroyuki Sanada as the clan’s chief samurai, Oishi; Kou Shibasaki as their master’s daughter and the love of Kai’s life, Mika;Tadanobu Asano as the treacherous Lord Kira; Rinko Kikuchi as the mysterious lady Mizuki, a character that “executes Kira’s every request in his search for ultimate power.”

Former commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch will be making his directorial debut on the film. He’ll be working from a script by Chris Morgan (“Wanted”) and Hossein Amini (“Drive”), with Scott Stuber, Pamela Abdy and Eric McLeod producing.