Warner Japan Remake of UNFORGIVEN Adds Watanabe
1992s Unforgiven, the pinnacle of Clint Eastwood as the Gunfighter will have its setting swapped out for the East as a Japanese samurai period drama, with none other than Inception’s Ken Watanabe taking Eastwood’s role as the main character.
Korean-Japanese helmer Lee Sang-Il (Hula Girls, Villain) will direct the remake Yurusarezaru Mono (Japanese for ‘unforgiven’) for Warner Japan.
Veteran actors Akira Emoto playing the Morgan Freeman role, and Koichi Sato as Gene Hackman’s character are also starring in the film that will shoot from September to November in Hokkaido, scheduled for a fall 2013 release in Japan.
As in the Oscar-winning original the remake will be set in 1880, but on the northernmost of Japan’s four major islands after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate; Watanabe will take on the Eastwood role as a samurai with a fearsome reputation as a swordsman who is living in retirement and poverty with his Ainu wife and accepts a final job as a bounty killer.
Eastwood is a Godfather of the film world, so remaking one of his major works is a big challenge. Under director Lee we will do battle in the great outdoors of Hokkaido and create our own take on Unforgiven.
On the other hand, Eastwood himself shot a remake of a Japanese film: Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, based on the 1961 Akira Kurosawa samurai fortune-hunter, Yojimbo.