Samurai movies and Westerns have gone hand in hand for years, so it shouldn’t be particularly surprising to learn that one of the last truly great Westerns – Clint Eastwood’s seminal Unforgiven – is being reimagined as a Japanese film.
Ken Watanabe stars in the role Eastwood made famous, playing an aging bounty hunter holding on to his traditional samurai values in the face of changing times. The trailer, which is in Japanese with no subtitles, is visually impressive thanks to the work of director Lee Sang-il.
Watanabe, who’s one of our favorite Japanese actors (right up there with Takeshi Kitano and Tadanobu Asano), will be joined by Kunimura Jun, Yagira Yuya, Sato Koichi, Emoto Akira, Koike Eiko and Kutsuna Shioli. Reports indicate that while this is a samurai version of the Eastwood original, it will still be set in the same time period as Unforgiven. Warner Entertainment Japan is backing the film.
The film is set for release next fall in Japan, with no word yet on when it might turn up on American shores. Have a look at the trailer and let us know what you think.