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47 Ronin gets a start date and adds some new members to the cast

03.01.2011
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We haven't gotten much for 47 RONIN until today.

Universal sent out a press release giving us the start date for principal photography as well as new cast members. Immediately when I saw the above pic I recognized Hiroyuki Sanada as the hard ass from THE LAST SAMURAI. While elements of this project seem a little off (the writer of FAST FIVE co-scripted this?), I am glad to see Sanada again.

Here's what you need to know: Principal photography begins March 14th. The four actors that you see in the pic (asides from Reeves & helmer Rinsch) are Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Kou Shibasaki.

Here's the press release:

"Universal Pictures announced today that principal photography begins March 14 on 47 Ronin, the new epic 3D fantasy-adventure inspired by ancient Japan’s most enduring tale. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors."

"47 Ronin is helmed by visionary director Carl Erik Rinsch (The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before."

"Joining Reeves in the cast are a who’s who of Japanese superstars, including Hiroyuki Sanada (The Twilight Samurai, Sunshine, The Last Samurai) as the clan’s chief samurai, Oishi; Kou Shibasaki (The Lady Shogun and Her Men, One Missed Call) as their master’s daughter and the love of Kai’s life, Mika; Tadanobu Asano (Mongol, Ichi the Killer, upcoming Thor) as the treacherous Lord Kira; and Academy Award®-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Norwegian Wood) as the mysterious lady Mizuki who executes Kira’s every request in his search for ultimate power."

"The film is from writers Chris Morgan (Wanted, Fast Five) and Hossein Amini (upcoming Drive, The Wings of the Dove). Scott Stuber (The Kingdom, upcoming Battleship), Pamela Abdy (Garden State, Man on the Moon) and Eric McLeod (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, Tropic Thunder) produce the epic."

"Rinsch leads a behind-the-scenes crew comprised of two-time Academy Award®-nominated cinematographer John Mathieson (Gladiator, Robin Hood); two-time Academy Award®-nominated production designer Jan Roelfs (Alexander, Gattaca); editor Craig Wood (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, The Ring); costume designer Penny Rose (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Evita); special effects producer Paul Corbould (Mamma Mia!, The Wolfman); and visual effects producer Garv Thorp (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Your Highness)."

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: Rinsch looks like he should be in LOTR fighting the good fight alongside Aragorn.

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4:15AM on 03/02/2011
The movie sounds interesting, but Reeves? Really? W.T.H.? That makes no sense to me. But the film itself sounds interesting. Will be interested in seeing a trailer when that comes around.
The movie sounds interesting, but Reeves? Really? W.T.H.? That makes no sense to me. But the film itself sounds interesting. Will be interested in seeing a trailer when that comes around.
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10:48PM on 03/01/2011
Never mind my previous post. I didn't read carefully enough.
Never mind my previous post. I didn't read carefully enough.
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10:46PM on 03/01/2011
Love the Japanese cast, but I'm still figuring out where Keanu Reeves fits in all of this. Yeah he's part Asian, but no one can really tell. Is he going to be some random foreign missionary?
Love the Japanese cast, but I'm still figuring out where Keanu Reeves fits in all of this. Yeah he's part Asian, but no one can really tell. Is he going to be some random foreign missionary?
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9:30PM on 03/01/2011

BATTLE ROYALE!

Keanu aside, gotta give 'em credit for casting actual Japanese actors, and damn good ones. BR's Mitsuko! Shark Skin Man!
Keanu aside, gotta give 'em credit for casting actual Japanese actors, and damn good ones. BR's Mitsuko! Shark Skin Man!
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9:10PM on 03/01/2011
you had me at Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi. i'll cut them some slack because anyone who knows about the story of the 47 ronin knows that this is not an easy thing to put on screen
you had me at Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi. i'll cut them some slack because anyone who knows about the story of the 47 ronin knows that this is not an easy thing to put on screen
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8:25PM on 03/01/2011
I'm keeping an open mind about this film. I was actually hoping Sanada would be cast in another film set in Japan, The Wolverine. Liked him in Last Samurai and Sunshine.
I'm keeping an open mind about this film. I was actually hoping Sanada would be cast in another film set in Japan, The Wolverine. Liked him in Last Samurai and Sunshine.
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8:04PM on 03/01/2011

Damn ...

I stopped reading at "3D fantasy-adventure" ...

I really hope this all shakes out and we get an amazing film out of this because the tale of the 47 ronin is one of my favorite stories. As it stands now things aren't looking that great.

Also, I am trying to rack my brain as to where an "enormous battle" takes place in the story as well. Without spoiling anything there are some serious big fights, for sure, but nothing like armies going at it. Just please don't suck, I want a good samurai
I stopped reading at "3D fantasy-adventure" ...

I really hope this all shakes out and we get an amazing film out of this because the tale of the 47 ronin is one of my favorite stories. As it stands now things aren't looking that great.

Also, I am trying to rack my brain as to where an "enormous battle" takes place in the story as well. Without spoiling anything there are some serious big fights, for sure, but nothing like armies going at it. Just please don't suck, I want a good samurai film.

I miss Mifune and Kurosawa ...
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