Keanu Reeves Leads 47 Ronin

In a Japanese period epic

He's currently menacing humanity in The Day The Earth Stood Still, but Keanu Reeves is planning a trip back to the 18th century for his next project, in 47 Ronin. Yup, Reeves will play one of the legendary band of masterless samurai, long considered the epitome of the bushido code, who avenged their master's death at great cost to their own lives in the early years of the 18th century.

The film's being written by Chris Morgan, who previously organised the insanity of Wanted as well as the upcoming Fast and Furious. This is planned as a "stylised" take on the tale, with Lord of the Rings style fantasy mixing with Gladiator-looking battle scenes - or so we are promised.

The plot concerns the 47 samurai who became ronin when their master was forced to commit seppuku after attacking a malicious court official. The ronin spent over a year lulling the official responsible into a false sense of security by apparently giving up the code, and then executed a precision attack on the wrongdoer, fully aware of the risk to their own lives.

The script is being tailored to Reeves, apparently, which we're guessing doesn't mean adding in "wow"s or "dude"s in this case. But with no director attached yet, this is all still some way off. Oh, and if you're considering the obvious objection that Reeves isn't Japanese, he has some Asian blood in his ancestry, so by Hollywood standards he's practically a native.