Prepare to roll your eyes in disbelief. The remake of Akira Kurosawa's venerated classic The Seven Samurai has been completed. But it's not the one planned by The Weinstein Co. And it's scored to The Rolling Stones?!!
Let's clarify: Don Brown at ryugangi says that Hiroyuki Nakano, director of the excessively stylish Samurai Fiction and Red Shadow, has been busy creating a new version of Samurai for a pachinko machine. (Yes, you read that right.) The official site features a half-dozen clips. The ones I've watched look surprisingly good and faithful to the spirit of the original -- except, er, for Mick Jagger singing "Paint It Black," "Jumping Jack Flash," and "Satisfaction."
How could this happen? Kurosawa's son Hisao has reportedly irked many by licensing his father's films and image for everything from remakes to a canned coffee commercial. Seven Samurai itself was made into a video game in 2004 (Seven Samurai 20XX) that was recently named one of the worst movie games ever by Wired.com. The same Japanese company that produced the video game (Sammy) also makes pachinko games, so I suppose this was inevitable.
Initially, I thought the article was either a bad joke or a slam at Nakano's directing style. Surely this was an advance peek at the Weinsteins' remake. But that project won't start shooting until later this year and the cast will feature American, European and Asian stars (per Variety), not just the Japanese actors pictured. My eyes are still rolling.