Ken Watanabe Will Be Unforgiven

In a Japanese remake of the Western

There is often an outcry when beloved Asian movies – see most recently Oldboy – get targeted for remake by Western filmmakers. But the portal swings both ways, and now Time Warner Japan is backing director Lee Sang-Il’s attempt to make a Japanese version of Unforgiven, with Inception’s Ken Watanabe starring.

Lee Sang-Il brought the company the idea for the official, authorised remake last year, and is now busy gathering a cast to take on the roles from Clint Eastwood’s iconic tale. While the period setting has been kept as 1880, the locale has been switched to Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, and finds a samurai (Watanabe) living down a violent past when he is called out of retirement for one last job.

Akira Emoto is taking over the part played by Morgan Freeman in the Oscar-winning original, with Koichi Sato set for the Gene Hackman role.

Sang-Il is preparing to shoot the movie in Hokkaido this autumn, with a planned Japanese release set for next year. Hopefully it will reach these shores one day soon after, as this all sounds rather interesting...