Japanese star Ken Watanabe is set to star in a remake of the 1992 Clint Eastwood Oscar-winning western Unforgiven. The Japanese production will translate the story from the original’s old West setting to feudal Japan, although the year, 1880, will remain the same.
This is an interesting reversal from how Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai was remade by John Sturges as the 1960 western classic The Magnificent Seven or Kurosawa’s Yojimbo being reworked by Sergio Leone into A Fistful Of Dollars.
The project is the brainchild of Korean-Japanese director Lee Sang-Il (Hula Girls), who approached Warner Brothers back in May with the idea. The new version will be titled Yurusarezaru Mono (A Thing That Can’t Be Forgiven).
Joining Watanabe in the cast are Koichi Sato (The Magic Hour) in what would be analogous to the role Gene Hackman played in the original while Akira Emoto (Villain) will play what was the Morgan Freeman role.
Honestly, this is how a remake should be handled. As I noted above, this wouldn’t be the first time that the same story was told in both settings. And with the switch in cultures comes the opportunity to draw parallels and contrasts between the two, which could be very interesting. It certainly beats making no discernable changes and plugging a couple of hot actors-of-the-week into the cast.
The film is expected to start shooting in Hokkaido Japan later this fall for a release late in 2013.
Via Hollywood Reporter.