Universal’s 3D samurai tentpole 47 Ronin has had a bit of a troubled road through production and post-production, but if all goes according to plan, we’ll be seeing Keanu Reeeves wielding his sword in theaters this coming December. In anticipation of the pic, some promo posters have gone online that feature the cast doing their best samurai poses. Reeves stars as one of the 18th century samurai who seek to avenge their master’s death, lending some starpower to the movie. I don’t imagine we’ll see a trailer until closer to this summer, but these promo posters offer a nice tease of what’s to come.
Hit the jump to check out the promo posters. Directed by Carl Rinsch, the film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi. 47 Ronin opens in 3D this Christmas. [Update: The images have been removed at the studio's request. Sorry if you missed them!]
47 Ronin is an intriguing project, in part because Universal plucked Carl Rinsch from relative obscurity to direct the 3D samurai tentpole. It seems the studio regrets that decision, and wants to heighten the intrigue in all the worst ways a cinephile can imagine. Rinsch has reportedly been removed from the editing room; Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley will oversee the final cut. A source involved with the production said the budget escalated from the planned $175 million to a prohibitive $225 million, although the studio denies that number. Keanu Reeves stars as one of the 18th century samurai who seek to avenge their master’s death, which lends some star power to the movie. But the rest of the cast—featuring Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi—is mostly Japanese. [Edit: To clarify, I have no problem with the nationality of the other actors. See explanation in the comments.] Add in the period setting and the lack of built-in brand awareness, and it is surprising Universal trusted an unproven director with so much money in the first place.
But Universal is ready to rectify that. Find out how after the jump.
Hollywood is in the middle of a digital revolution. Over the past few years, the titans of the industry have switched to digital cameras, and it seems like the days of shooting on film are drawing to a close. Of course there will always be holdouts (Christopher Nolan), but as digital cameras get more and more advanced, you have to wonder how long it will be before everyone has converted. These are the main issues explored in Keanu Reeves and Chris Kenneally‘s great documentary Side by Side. The two filmmakers sat down with people like James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Stephen Soderbergh, and Andy and Lana Wachowski to talk about the evolving landscape of filmmaking. If you’re a film nerd, it’s a must see movie. For more on Side by Side, here’s some outtakes and a trailer.
Last week, I landed an exclusive interview with Keanu Reeves. Besides thanking him for getting the Wachowskis on camera, we talked about what surprised him about the digital revolution, how digital cameras and digital projection have advanced in the past few years, IMAX, whether it was tough to land the interviews, and so much more. In addition, with Reeves having directed his first feature, Man of Tai Chi, we talked about when people will see it, the film’s rating (PG-13), and why he used the ARRI Alexa. Finally, we also talked about 47 Ronin, how he’d like to direct a film called Life and Art, the status of Bill and Ted 3, and Point Break Live (which is a lot of fun). Hit the jump to watch or to read the transcript.
We’ve quite a bit of release date news to share this fine morning, as Universal has announced a slew of schedule changes. Briefly:
- With production set to begin in a matter of weeks, Kick-Ass 2 has been slated for a June 28th, 2013 release.
- The Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg thriller 2 Guns has been given an August 16th, 2013 release date.
- Director Richard Curtis’ (Love Actually) romantic time travel pic About Time, starring Rachel McAdams, has been dated May 10th, 2013.
- The Keanu Reeves samurai pic 47 Ronin, originally set for a November 2012 release, has now been pushed back even further to Christmas 2013.
- The re-release Jurassic Park 3D has been moved to April 5th, 2013.
- The supernatural actioner R.I.P.D. starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds has been shifted to July 19th, 2013.
- The Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief has been moved up to February 8th, 2013.
Hit the jump for all the details, folks.
Check out the latest shuffling of release dates below:
- Oblivion, from director Joseph Kosinski and starring Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko, has been moved up a week from April 26th, 2013 to April 19th, 2013. The film will screen exclusively in IMAX for one week starting on April 12th.
- Rush, the Forumula 1 racing picture from Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth has a new release date of September 20th, 2013.
- Mama, a horror film directed by Andres Muschietti and produced by Guillermo del Toro, has been pushed from October of this year to January 18th, 2013. The picture stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jessica Chastain.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, from writer/director Stephen Chbosky and starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, has been pushed back a week from September 14th to September 21st of this year.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
While Universal Pictures skipped CinemaCon/ShoWest the past couple of years, they more than made up for it with the best presentation of 2012. While all the studios have great-looking movies arriving in 2012 and 2013, I wanted to see every single movie Universal talked about at CinemaCon In addition, not only did they bring in the movie stars and directors, they world premiered footage from nine movies including Les Miserables, Ted, Savages, This is 40, R.I.P.D., Oblivion, The Bourne Legacy, Snow White and the Huntsman, and 47 Ronin. In addition, they made sure to remind attendees that while filming hasn’t started on Fast and Furious 6 (the working title), it’s arriving next May, and Despicable Me 2 opens in July. For what I thought about all the movies plus a complete video blog recap, hit the jump.
Universal certainly has an ambitious film on their hands with the samurai pic 47 Ronin, but it was announced today that they’ve decided to move the pic off of its pre-Thanksgiving release date. Previously slated to open on November 11th, 47 Ronin will now be released on February 8th, 2013 (per Box Office Mojo). Directed by Carl Rinsch, the 3D film stars Keanu Reeves and centers on a troupe of banished samurai who long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master. We recently brought you a look at a fire-infused promo poster for the film from CinemaCon, which you can check out right here.
The release date change actually makes sense. The November date had the action-centered film going up against Alfonso Cuaron’s highly anticipated sci-fi pic Gravity, and opening two weeks before The Hobbit and Les Miserables. In February, 47 Ronin has a showdown with the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven. I don’t really see much cross-pollination happening between the audiences for 47 Ronin and a Nicholas Sparks movie…
CinemaCon gets underway this Monday, but Steve is already in Las Vegas snapping pictures of all the cool promo posters, banners, and standees he can find. For those unaware, CinemaCon is a convention put on for all the major theater owners in order to get a look at what the studios have to offer for the rest of the year; it’s basically Comic-Con for theater owners. While walking the floor, Steve found a new promo poster for director Carl Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin. The pic stars Keanu Reeves and it’s about a troupe of banished samurai long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master. We got a look at a different promo poster at the 2011 Licensing International Expo, but this one has 100% more fire and plays up the 3D aspect of the action film.
Hit the jump to check out the promo poster, and be sure to check back over the next few days for all our coverage from CinemaCon 2012. 47 Ronin opens on November 11th in 3D.
UPDATE: Found a better version of the 47 Ronin poster. It’s been added after the jump.
Norwegian Wood is a moving tale of loss and sexuality set in Tokyo in the late 1960s and adapted from Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s bestselling 1987 novel. In this haunting coming-of-age story, Watanabe (Kenichi Matsuyama) looks back on his days as a freshman university student living in Tokyo during a turbulent political time. Through his reminiscences about a series of life-altering events that include first love, sexual awakening, suicide and terminal illness, we see him develop relationships with two very different women, the beautiful yet emotionally troubled Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi), and the outgoing, vivacious Midori (Kiko Mizuhara).
We recently did an exclusive phone interview with the Academy Award nominated Kikuchi to talk about Norwegian Wood and what it was like to be a part of Vietnamese-born director Anh Hung Tran’s visually stunning film. She told us what attracted her to the project, how Tran had reservations about casting her in the role initially, what she felt were the most challenging aspects of her character, and why she thinks an audience will enjoy the poetic story and characters. She also talked about her upcoming roles in Carl Erik Rinsch’s epic period Samurai film, 47 Ronin, and Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi thriller, Pacific Rim. Hit the jump for more.
Like any studio, Universal has had a tough time with movies they expected to be hits. The Fast and Furious series is one of their killer franchises and they landed a sleeper hit with Bridesmaids, but the studio had to suck up bombs like Land of the Lost, The Wolfman, Robin Hood, Cowboys & Aliens, and even the geek-beloved Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Ron Meyer, Universal’s President and COO for the past sixteen years, spoke about the studio’s flops at the Savannah Film Festival. He also talked about 3D, avoiding prestige pictures, and their controversial move to try and rush Tower Heist onto VOD.
Hit the jump for When Studio Execs Speak Honestly.
With the 2011 Licensing International Expo currently underway in Las Vegas, many promo posters have started hitting the net. Yesterday we posted the promo poster for The Avengers as well as the promo posters for The Amazing Spider-Man, Hotel Transylvania, and more. Continuing the barrage of advertising, we now have promo posters for The Hobbit, The Hunger Games, Battleship, The Three Stooges, The Lorax, 47 Ronin, The Croods, The Bourne Legacy, Rise of the Guardians, Stretch Armstrong, RIPD, Fast & Furious 6, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. It’s worth noting that the promo poster for Fast & Furious 6 says the film is due out in 2013, which isn’t too surprising. More intriguing is that the poster for How to Train Your Dragon 2 is simply titled “Dragons“.
Hit the jump to check out the promo posters and look out for more over the coming days.
Can director Carl Erik Rinsch balance a fantastic epic featuring giants and witches with one of Japan’s legendary tale of loyalty and sacrifice? That’s the question circling 47 Ronin but star Keanu Reeves explains how the film plans to honor the Japanese people who have grown up hearing this tale while still creating a widely-accessible tentpole flick. Says Reeves,
“Japanese kids grow up with this story told to them. They hear it from family and they learn it in school, it’s part of the culture. It’s been made into movies many times and on television. It’s like our westerns, the story keeps being told. It’s been reworked in some ways [for this new film] but with great care and respect.”
Hit the jump for more details on the project including a synopsis. The film also features Japanese stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi. 47 Ronin is set to open in 3D on November 11, 2012.
Four Japanese actors have joined Keanu Reeves in Carl Erik Rinsch’s 47 Ronin. Hiroyuki Sanada (Lost), Kou Shibasaki (Battle Royale), Tadanobu Asano (Mongol), and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) will star alongside Reeves in Rinsch’s adaptation of the Japanese legend of ronin who fought to avenge their master’s death. The film, which Universal is setting up as one of its 2012 tentpoles, is set to be released in 3D on November 11, 2012.
Variety doesn’t say which roles the new cast members will be playing. However, judging by the previous work I’ve seen from these actors, I’m become more excited for what 47 Ronin holds in store. [Update: Universal has sent us a press release detailing the roles the lead actors will be playing. Hit the jump to check it out.]
We’ve received word that Universal plans to shoot and release the upcoming Keanu Reeves action film 47 Ronin in 3D. Director Carl Rinsch, who has previously been attached to the upcoming Alien prequel as well as a Logan’s Run remake, will make his feature film debut on the project. The project officially got a greenlight last month, as well as a release date of November 21, 2012. There’s no word as to whether the entire film will be shot in 3D, or if some of the footage will be filmed in 2D and then post-converted like the upcoming Transformers: The Dark of the Moon.
Based upon a true story, 47 Ronin is the tale of 18th century samurai who head out to avenge the death of their master. It’s the most famous tale of the samurai code of honor, “bushido.” For a director who has yet to make his feature film debut, Rinsch has been attached to some decidedly high-profile projects, and Reeves’ work on The Matrix trilogy has him well-versed in martial arts (“I know kung-fu”). Needless to say, this flick sounds fairly bad-ass on paper. We’ll find out if Rinsch lives up to his reputation come November 2012.
by Ben Garman Posted: November 13th, 2010 at 5:57 am
Carl Rinsch’s first feature film, 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, has been given the green light by Universal and a release date: November 21st, 2012. THR reports due to the green light, Rinsch has stepped down from Logan’s Run, the sci-fi feature he was previously set to direct, leaving the spot ready for another to claim. It’s unfortunate as Warner Bros. has had scant success securing a director to remake the film, but Rinsch feels he needs to prioritise and redirect his time and focus to ensure that 47 Ronin is a success.
The legend of the 47 Ronin is based on the true story of a group of samurai who avenged the forced, ritual suicide of their master back in 1702. The leaderless samurai, or Ronin, plotted revenge for nearly a year before murdering the court officials who brought shame on their master and were rewarded by a big helping of their own forced, ritual suicide.
Hit the jump for more on the struggle to revive Logan’s Run.