Home The Film LabReviewsFeatures
Oscar 2013TIFF 2012What's Happening?NewsI Love YouTubeGenre Jam The Great DebateWhat's The Deal?Top 5Toronto After Dark!HotDocs 2012Feature ArchiveCommunity
News > Expect Some Kurosawa Remakes in the Near Future
Rajorajorajo | 25 Aug 2011 | 505 Views | 1 Likes | 0 Dislikes
Expect Some Kurosawa Remakes in the Near Future
Variety reports that new L.A. production company Splendant Media just bought the rights (outside of Japan) to 69 films and screenplays of cinema legend Akira Kurosawa. While this means that we'll probably see some maybe-terrible remakes of 'untouchable' classic films like Rashomon and Yojimbo it ALSO means that we'll probably get some new films based on 19 unproduced screenplays written by the master himself. Which I gotta admit is an intriguing prospect.
Kurosawa isn't just one of those names you hear in film history class and forget about... this was a man who helped shape the cinematic language that filmmakers have been communicating with since the 50s and 60s. Directly or indirectly, modern filmmaking owes a great deal to him - he's influenced everyone from Bergman to Fellini to Scorsese to Altman to Spielberg... the list is pretty much endless. And when you consider how many new filmmakers THOSE guys influenced... The mind boggles. Mucho respecto to AK.
While the thought of new filmmakers bothering to straight-up remake any given masterpiece in Kurosawa's body of work (Van Sant's Psycho taught us all that this is probably always gonna be a bad idea), I guess it's not completely crazy as it has been done before. Many times. Sort of.
THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954) remade as:
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)
and BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980)
AND there's a new one in the works (by another production company that secured rights before this deal with Splendant went down)
YOJIMBO (1961) remade as:
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964)
and LAST MAN STANDING (1996)
HIDDEN FORTRESS (1958) kind of/sort of remade as:
STAR WARS, Ep. IV: A NEW HOPE (1977)
And it's not like this is the first time Kurosawa's previously unproduced scripts have been in the hands of other filmmakers, either. Check it: in 1999, Kurosawa's former assistant director (Ran, Akira Kurosawa's Dreams) directed After the Rain, the last screenplay his mentor ever wrote, and it won a bunch of prizes and stuff.
So maybe I should cool it with the knee-jerk poo-pooing of this news... maybe this just means that the master's place in film history will further be cemented, as generations to come get introduced to his work - whether through a terrible remake, a re-invented homage or a brand new film nobody ever expected, right from the pen of the man himself. Silver lining, right?