Ken Watanabe to Front Japanese Remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven

Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai (2003) Movie ImageAs the old saying goes — “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Taking a page out of Hollywood, Japan is set to remake Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning Western “Unforgiven”, but set in the world of the Samurai. This, we’re told, is the first time Japan has ever remade a Hollywood film (yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but they’ve remade plenty of Hollywood films in the past) of “Unforgiven’s” Oscar-winning pedigree.

The remake rights were probably pretty easy to obtain, seeing as how Warner Bros.’ Japanese arm is producing and will distribute the film, and the studio owns rights to the 1992 original that won Eastwood an Oscar for Best Director and Gene Hackman for Best Supporting Actor. The film also took home Best Picture for the year.

The remake, to be called “Yurusarezaru Mono” locally, which literally translates to, “A Thing That Can’t Be Forgiven” (though it’s a good bet its International title will simply be “Unforgiven”), will star “Inception’s” Ken Watanabe as “a samurai with a violent past, who lives on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido with his Ainu (the aboriginal people of the island) wife, but is brought out of retirement for one last job.”

Koichi Sato will play the Gene Hackman/Little Bill role, while Akira Emoto will play the Morgan Freeman/Ned role. As you’ll recall from the original, when the former Samurai clashes with the law in a small town, blood flies. It’ll be interesting to see what they use to bring the ex-killer out of retirement. In the original it was a saloon girl getting her face slashed by a john. I don’t think they have saloon girls in Japan, right? So maybe a geisha at the wrong end of a knife…

Lee Sang-Il, who brought the remake idea to Warner, will direct the film, which is set to shoot this Fall for a 2013 Fall release.

Useless Trivia GifKen Watanabe also starred in 2006’s WWII movie “Letters from Iwo Jima”, which was directed by … Clint Eastwood. Watanabe also has experience playing a Samurai for Warner Bros. — he co-starred (with Tom Cruise) in Edward Zwick’s 2003 movie “The Last Samurai”. Tom Cruise, meanwhile, is attached to remake “The Magnificent Seven” Western … which was originally a remake of the Japanese Samurai movie “Seven Samurai”.

Via : THR