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What is Zanbato, JJ Abrams' latest mystery project?

04.19.2011

Forget Austin Powers, JJ Abrams is the new International Man of Mystery. Even as his upcoming summer blockbuster SUPER 8 tantalizes audiences with its top-secret plot, he's already working on his next hush-hush project. And so I ask you, what exactly is ZANBATO?

As he often does, Abrams has hired writer/producers from one of his many projects - in this case "Fringe" exec producers Monica Breen and Alison Schapker - to work on a script based on an idea he's come up with. ZANBATO is one of Abrams' many Bad Robot projects stewing at Paramount and Breen and Schapker are tasked with bringing it to life. Little is known about the project (a-DUH), but it's reportedly in the sci-fi genre, involves Japanese history and robotics and was described as "swashbuckling robots with swords."

This sort of makes sense as "zanbato" means "horse-slaying sword" in Japanese and was an extremely large sword used in feudal Japan. It gets its name from the idea that a warrior could kill both the horse and its rider with one swing. It would not be his first film inspired by Japanese culture as he's frequently spoken about how CLOVERFIELD was inspired by trips to Japan with his young son.

It's very likely this won't be a film Abrams will direct but will hand off to another one of his proteges. So what do you make of a film about pirate robots from Japan? Sounds rather ridiculous but with Abrams there always seems to be a little more going on than what we expect...

Source: Deadline

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