Trailer For Japanese Unforgiven Online
Ken Watanabe stars in Yurusarezaru Mono
The Internet loves to moan about Asian films getting Hollywood workovers (Spike Lee's Oldboy is bearing the brunt at the moment) but it's worth remembering that the remake traffic goes both ways, and that it's not necessarily a bad thing. Exhibit A: Sang-il Lee's Japanese version of Unforgiven, a trailer for which has recently emerged. There are no subtitles, but if you're even slightly familiar with the Clint Eastwood original, you'll easily pick up the jist.
Elegant-looking stuff, we're sure you'll agree, and proof that, where samurai films have previously made for great westerns - Yojimbo became A Fistful of Dollars; Seven Samurai became The Magnificent Seven - here's a Western that looks to have made a great samurai film. The Japanese title is Yurusarezaru Mono, which Google is singularly failing to translate for us. Anyone?
The film's still set in 1880, but the locale has been switched to Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. The plot, of course, involves a samurai (Watanabe) living down a violent past when he is called out of retirement for one last job. Akira Emoto has the Morgan Freeman role, with Koichi Sato as the antagonist previously played by Gene Hackman.
Warner Bros. Japan is, unsurprisingly, the studio behind the project, and while there's no Western release date (pun intended) in place yet, we'd imagine this will travel before too long. In the meantime, check this out: they even remade the poster!