Keanu Reeves Digs Japan

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 12:25 PM

At least that's how it appears seeing as he is set to have starring roles in a live action Cowboy Bebop movie and a movie about the legendary 47 Ronin, both highly successful entities in Japan. Reeves involvement in the Bebop adaptation was revealed way back in January and the Lebanese born Canadian-American actor will play the series title character Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter in a future where space travel and space crime are actualities. Bebop, based on the popular anime series of the same name, is set to be released in 2011 by Fox and the series writers and creators are being courted for collaboration on the project. Right now I'm skeptical about the films ability to be a success but the fact that Reeves seems so enthusiastic about the project and Fox are trying to get as much collaboration as they can from the animes crew there is a slight possibility it could be good.

News surrounding Reeves other Japanese adventure, 47 Ronin, have hit the web today. It appears that Universal are set to nail down a director for the film based on the legendary story of revenge by a group of loyal Samurai in 18th Century Japan. Carl Eric Rinsch, so far most famous for almost being the guy to direct the Alien prequel, is set to sign a deal with Universal which will see 47 Ronin become his first feature film. While Chris Morgan has been bought in to write the script for the fact based legend Variety are reporting that fantastical elements inspired by the Lord of the Rings will be added to the story and the fighting will mirror the awesome, highly stylised work of 300 and Gladiator. Reeves has reportedly been given a starring role in the films story but as yet no other castings have been confirmed or hinted at. Personally, I think Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha) and Tadanobu Asano (Mongol) should be locks for the film while Nakamura Shido (Fearless, Red Cliff) would also be a good choice. Universal should look to cast Japanese actors whom Western audiences may recognise and currently these three are some of the most recognisable in the industry.I'm surprised this story has taken so long to get a Western film made after it. It's mentioned in so many films and TV shows like The Simpsons episode where they go to Japan and the Robert De Niro film Ronin. Mixing it with fantasy is an odd decision and may alienate Japanese people who have grown up on the tale, maybe Universal feel that a simple revenge story on its own will not attract audiences? Either both these projects have caught my interest and it will be interesting to see how they pan out.



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