Japanese director Takashi Miike is currently in negotiations to make his English-language debut feature. The film, from producer Joel Silver, is The OUtsider, is being described by Deadline as “an epic story set in post-World War II Japan, chronicling the life of a former American G.I. who becomes part of the Japanese Yakuza.” Tom Hardy is already set to play the American. Silver originally had the project set up at Warner Brothers, but is not looking to secure independent financing in order to get into production early next year in Japan.
With over 60 films to his credit, Miike is perhaps best known to American audiences for his trips into horror films like Audition and Ichi The Killer and actioners like The 13 Assassins and Sukiyaki Western Django. But he has also done a number of children’s films like The Great Yoki War and Zebraman, albeit all filtered through his own unique cinematic perspective.
I have to admit that while I am excited that Miike is finally making an English-language film, it is tempered with some trepidation. Many great Asian cinema superstars from both in front of and behind the cameras have come to Hollywood but were disappointingly unable to replicate the magic of their work from back home. Jackie Chan and John Woo I’m looking at you two specifically. Can Miike conform to the Hollywood system of making movies without losing what makes his movies uniquely his? Perhaps since the film is being done independently of a studio will play in his favor. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.