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The Weinsteins are remaking Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai”. Yes, that statement should give you shudders. The Weinsteins don’t exactly have a good track record of handling current Asian films, so why would anyone in their right mind give them the rights to a Kurosawa classic to remake? I know, I know, this thing has “travesty” written all over it. But consider this: John Sturges remade the film in 1960 with cowboys in “The Magnificent Seven”, and anyone who loves Westerns would be hardpressed to argue that it is NOT one of the best Westerns of all time. And now screenwriter John Fusco has talked about the “Seven Samurai” remake for the Weinsteins, and you know what? I could dig it.
Here’s what Fusco told Geeks of Doom:
“I would never be crazy enough to attempt to write a remake of one of the greatest films of all time… It is simply a re-imagining.”
Ugh. “Re-imagining”. I hate that buzzword. Really, it’s right up there next to “Go Green” as two of the most insipid words in the American zeitgeist at the moment.
Fusco continues, and this is where I start to dig his version of the “Seven Samurai”:
Fusco’s re-imagining will also nix the samurai in favor of a modern-day tale of Blackwater-like paramilitary contractors defending a Northern Thailand town from an imminent attack.
Fusco, whose screenplays include the The Young Guns movies, Hidalgo, and the recent Jackie Chan/Jet Li flick The Forbidden Kingdom, explained that his Seven screenplay is more of a “contemporary exploration of the classic round-up movie and the idea of masterless warriors.”
“The “round up” idea goes back to the Greek classic Seven Against Thebes, which inspired the great Kurosawa to create The Seven Samurai, which inspired The Magnificent Seven,” Fusco said. “I wish we could just call it a remake of Seven Against Thebes.
Kinda sounds like the recent “Rambo” movie, minus Rambo, right?
To sum it up: he’s not REMAKING “Seven Samurai”, he’s just using the premise for another movie. That’s nothing new, because that’s pretty much what a lot of movies are nowadays — different versions of the same story, with new cast and setting.
Of course, there’s no need for the Weinsteins to go around claiming that this movie is a remake of “Seven Samurai”, right? Besides to get the added publicity — and rile up fans of Kurosawa’s original, that is. That’s the Weinsteins for ya, always eliciting bad publicity for absolutely no reason.
Below: the Seven Samurai are relieved that this upcoming “remake” isn’t a remake at all.