John Woo to Direct English-language Remake DAY OF THE BEAST

     May 16, 2012

john-woo-day-of-the-beast

It’s been a while since John Woo has directed an English-language film—nine years to be exact.  Now the director has committed to directing an English-language remake of Seijun Suzuki’s 1963 film Youth of the Beast.  The film, titled Day of the Beast, centers on the dealings of Yakuza, the Japanese mafia.  Woo will direct and produce the pic from a script by Rob Frisbee.  The story takes place in Tokyo and “follows a western outsider with a grim past as he becomes embroiled in a global turf war between a vicious new breed of Yakuza and old school Cold War Russian mobsters.”

I’m not familiar with the original, but it should be interesting to see a new English-language pic from Woo.  The director was hailed for his action style in the 90s in films like Hard Boiled and Face/Off, but suffered box office failures with Windtalkers and his 2003 effort Paycheck, which marked his last English-language pic.  Hit the jump to read the press release.

youth-of-the-beast-posterHere’s the press release:

May 16, 2012 –– John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions and Nikkatsu Corporation will co-produce DAY OF THE BEAST, a remake of Seijun Suzuki’s 1963 classic Youth of the Beast centering on the dealings of Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Woo (Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off) will direct and produce the script by Rob Frisbee along with Terence Chang, and Nikkatsu’s Naoki Sato. Lori Tilkin, Aki Sugihara and Yoko Asakura are executive producing. The English language production was announced as Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest major movie studio, celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.

John Woo said, “This remake is my salute to the great films and filmmakers produced by Nikkatsu’s 100 years in cinema history. It is exciting for me as well as an honor.”

Nikkatsu president Naoki Sato said, “Among Nikkatsu’s 6,000+ film library, this is one of our most revered titles. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Woo and are excited he is directing this film for the international market. We think this is a great way to start off the next 100 years of filmmaking history!”

Lion Rock’s Terence Chang said, “Seijun Suzuki’s Youth of the Beast is one of my favorite films, and I have been obsessed with remaking it for over 10 years! I have to thank Nikkatsu for this partnership and for making this dream come true!”

DAY OF THE BEAST follows a western outsider with a grim past as he becomes embroiled in a global turf war between a vicious new breed of Yakuza and old school Cold War Russian mobsters. It’s an action-packed saga of loyalty, revenge and redemption which erupts in the heart of Tokyo.

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