First Look at Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin
11.26.11 by BJSprecher
Universal's 47 Ronin went into production under the direction of Ridley Scott protégé and first-time feature director Carl Eric Rinsch back in March and is already in post-production, and now we've finally got our first look at lead actor Keanu Reeves as Kai, a half-British, half-Japanese "outsider, a kind of half-breed with a mysterious past," who is skilled in the ways of the samurai.
Written by Chris Morgan (Wanted), the $170 million 3-D Japanese feudal period epic is based on the real-life Genroku Ako incident in which 47 ronin (masterless samurais) spent years plotting revenge against a court official who forced their daimyo (master) to commit seppuku (ritual suicide).
The events surrounding the Genroku Ako incident have been chronicled countless times, with the first feature adaptation dating back to director Kenji Mizoguchi's The 47 Ronin, which was released in two parts in 1941 and 1942. Universal has yet to release an official synopsis of Rinsch's adaptation — an early press release simply declared that "Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before" — but it appears that the movie will differ in several ways from the real story and Mizoguchi's adaptation, such as the inclusion of the character Kai played by Reeves, the tale of "impossible love" between Kai and a Japanese "princess," and possibly in the way the daimyo dies.
The cast of 47 Ronin includes Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Racer), Tadanobu Asano (Thor), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Tekken), Kô Shibasaki (The Lady Shogun and Her Men), Rinko Kikuchi (upcoming Pacific Rim) and Japanese pop singer Jin Akanishi. It is slated for release on November 21, 2012.