Whoa… Keanu Reeves to star in 47 Ronin

47roninI don’t know how to say this without coming across as a stereotypical knee-jerk blogger, but here goes: Keanu Reeves is going to ruin the classic Japanese legend by starring in 47 Ronin.

Damn, and I was so close…

Anyway, Variety reported that Reeves is set to star in the Universal Pictures period film set during during the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan. For those of you who have been living under a cultural rock, the tale of the 47 ronin who plotted for two years to avenge the death of their master, only to then turn around and commit honorable seppuku is a story that is based on true events and has been a part of Japan’s literary, cinematic, and television history ever since the 18th century (and is colloquially known as the Chūshingura).

Here’s the part of the Universal story where my sense of historical and literary accuracy goes haywire:

The film will tell a stylized version of the story, mixing fantasy elements of the sort seen in The Lord of the Rings pics, with gritty battle scenes akin to those in films such as Gladiator.

[Wanted screenwriter Chris Morgan] is writing the script and tailoring it so that Reeves—who’s half-Asian—can fit the role as one of the swordsmen. The intention is to begin shooting next year after a director is hired.

Fantasy elements in something that’s based on documented historic events? Changing a real person’s history just so a half-Asian man can play him in a movie? There is loads wrong with both of those statements, and I for one am not going to be a party to this.

Posted on December 10, 2008 at 06:12 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Tom
    on 2008-12-12 at 02:04
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    WHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY!!! (Sobs in corner)

  2. Written by Lori
    on 2008-12-14 at 10:13
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    Now, I’m not totally against Reeves thespian talents…I mean, he can do the emotion of ‘stoic’ real well, and he can wield a sword, both necessary for a ronin.

    BUT, let Hollywood get their hands on a legend where every single kills himself…they’ll either all become zombies roaming the countryside for the rest of eternity (or was that vampires?), or they’ll be miraculously saved or…The point is, the Hollywood audience won’t be able to handle a tragedy, no matter how noble, so they’re not going to be given one.

    Just my 2 cents.

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