Ryuhei Kitamura Announces American Remake of Versus

The last time I posted on the coming and going of Japanese action director Ryuhei Kitamura, it was to report that Lionsgate was burying his American debut, the horror “Midnight Meat Train”. (More on that here.) In the article, I mentioned how ho-hum the trailer looked, despite all the horror dudes going nuts over it. It just didn’t look like something Ryuhei Kitamura would do, was the problem I had with it. Well guess what? Ryuhei Kitamura is going to do something that will definitely qualify as “a Ryuhei Kitamura movie”. What’s that, you ask? Why, he’s going to do an American remake of his own 2000 Samurai-Zombie bash, “Versus”, of course!

Here’s Dread Central with the so-wonderful-try-not-to-wet-yourself news:

Kitamura just announced that he’s working on an American version of Versus. He just finished a draft of the script and will do one more to polish it up. It’s going to be a few years before it’s made, as he’s doing an action film first, but he stated, and I quote: “The US Versus will be insane!”

Oh my. Me so happy. Hee hee.

How totally and completely badass was Kitamura’s “Versus”? It was so bloody good I spent the next seven years watching every single thing Kitamura did, before becoming so disappointed with his output I gave up, and didn’t even realize he had directed an American movie until last month.

Here’s a quick rundown of the original “Versus” from IMDB.com:

Set in the present where a group of ruthless gangsters, an unknown woman and an escaped convict have met, unwittingly, in The Forest of Resurrection, the 444th portal to the other side. Their troubles start when those once killed and buried in the forest come back from the dead, with the assistance of the evil Sprit that has also come back, come back from ages past, to claim his prize. The final standoff between Light and Dark has never been so cunning, so brutal and so deadly. This is where old Japanese Samurai mysticism meets the new world of the gangster and the gun. Gruesome, bloody and positively bold.

Trust me, it’s all about the action. Loads and loads of insane martial arts, Samurai, and Yakuza action. With zombies. Did I mention the zombies? The film starred a then-unknown guy name Tak Sakaguchi, who according to Kitamura, he spotted fighting in the streets and instantly auditioned Sakaguchi for the leading role in his movie. True story.

Here’s a trailer for the original. Trust me, it’s like this for the entire two hours: