So yeah, apparently Universal is still moving forward with its plans to make a big-screen movie about the famous 47 Ronin of Japan, to be called, of course, “47 Ronin”. The idea of Hollywood doing a Samurai movie is strange enough, but it’s been known for a while now that Universal is in talks with Keanu Reeves to star. Yes, Keanu Reeves. He of the wooden acting talent and the “I know kung fu” fame. Now word from the trades is that Carl Rinsch has come onboard to direct the movie.
Who is Carl Rinsch? You probably have never heard of him. He’s a commercial director who was recently involved in Ridley Scott’s “Alien” prequel for Fox, before the studio balked at anyone other than Scott directing the movie. Rinsch has been out of a job since, but appears to have now landed on his feet.
“47 Ronin” is currently being written by Chris Morgan (“The Fast & Furious”), and chronicles the famous story of a band of Ronin (masterless Samurais) who go on a quest to avenge the death of their master in 18th century Japan. Apparently the idea is to make a period/action movie along the lines of “The Lord of the Rings”, “Gladiator” and “300”. That sounds very ambitious, and it’ll be interesting to see if the whole thing ends up being shot in front of a giant green screen in a warehouse ala “300”.
And in case you didn’t hear me the first time, Keanu Reeves is the frontrunner to play the lead Samurai. Reeves, we’re told, is half-Asian.