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Keanu Reeves Leads 47 Ronin
In a Japanese period epic

09 December 2008  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  

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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.


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Your Comments

Japanese 47 Ronin
There's a great Japanese film about it. Go to You Tube and type in 47 Ronin Samurai and there's a trailer for it. There was also a great TV series from the 70's (I think). This will be another "Last Samurai". Slick Production but no substance. More

Posted by Adam Beckley at 12:22 on 12 December 2008 | Report This Post

RE: hey you killed my master dude
L: grounded oh no , if he commits hari kari then I might watch the end. More

Posted by grounded at 19:35 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

hey you killed my master dude
oh no , if he commits sebuku then I might watch the end. More

Posted by grounded at 19:30 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

You can't beat Afro Samurai for your sword clashing wants.
I like Keanu, always have done, even liked him in Little Buddah. 47 Ronin sounds interesting and knowing Keanu's work ethic (as seen in the making of The Matrix) he will be good with a sword by the time they start shooting. I just hope they bring some of Afro Samurai soundtrack ethos (cool beats, that perfectly complemented the action scenes, mixed with an authentic ancient Japan sound) to 47 Ronin. I hope they cast Ken Watannabe as he'll bring some steel to the movie, if you pardon the pun. More

Posted by Taz69 at 19:11 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

This will be BAAAAD
This will be a missed chance. such a legendary story and chapter of japanese history and hollywood will trivialise it. this has the chance (in the right hands) to be a magnificent piece of work. instead what we have is the guy who wrote of all things wanted and the fast and the furious, making a "stylized" version. why isn't anyone shouting and screaming. so we'll have a simplified, hollywoodesized, 12A version of the legend. great. More

Posted by lazysuperhero at 16:34 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

This only goes to show...
That Hollywood is scared of using people of appropriate ethnicity. Jake as the Prince and countless other American/British actors before him. Keaun might have what it takes, but can't they use an actual Japanese actor for a Japanese role? More

Posted by cenaris at 15:28 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sounds Intresting.
Sounds like The Last Samurai, only way way stupider. I would have thought a premise like that would inspire some excitement in me, but... Keanu-san? Ugh. More

Posted by O_Goncho at 14:42 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

Sounds Intresting.
I always liked Keanu Reeves, he has some intresting work behind him and sometimes he made some bad choices but he's without a actor to use every now and again. This one sounds just right his door, he would look good as a samurai. I hope it works out for him and the promises will be filled when it comes out. More

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:37 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

Oh I know this story. It's told in the De Niro film Ronin. Always thought it would make a good film though if there is a Japanese one, I haven't seen it. Reeves as a Samurai? Stranger things have happened. Jake Gylennhaal as a Persian for example. Could be interesting. More

Posted by Timon at 09:05 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

Might work ...
... if he goes the whole hog and has the top knot and everything. If people are willing to believe that Gerrard Butler is a Spartan king, why can't Keanu Reeves be a samurai? If the story's good enough, people will happily suspend their disbelief, I reckon. More

Posted by Nicky C at 09:04 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

47 Ronin
Are they mad? Reeves as a Samurai!!!! Please help me God. One of the Japanese classics gets destroyed by Hollywood. There are millions of other actors who would do a better job than that waste of time. More

Posted by Adam Beckley at 08:52 on 09 December 2008 | Report This Post

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