The road that "47 Ronin" has taken to reach cinemas has been long and twisted indeed. Filmed way back in 2011, the movie, which stars Keanu Reeves, has missed multiple release dates and undergone serious post-production woes. Universal has also apparently been unsatisfied with initial versions of the movie put together by first-time director Carl Rinsch (a wunderkind originally tapped by Ridley Scott to direct "Prometheus"). But it looks like the movie is finally going to open on Christmas Day this year, and a new trailer has just been unleashed, giving us a better glimpse at what we're in for.
The movie concerns a character played by Hiroyuki Sanada, aka one of the coolest dudes on planet earth, who recruits Reeves' character to join a misfit band of samurais as they seek revenge for their banishment and betrayal. The cast also includes Rinko Kikuchi, recently seen in Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim," and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. While the trailer doesn't detail the film's plot, per se, it does give us the opportunity to gander at its opulent visuals. And they are crazy.
Amongst the flashes we get in the trailer are a guy who is dressed up in Mexican Day of the Dead makeup (later in the trailer he releases some kind of ghostly vapor), monsters, a dragon, a giant mutant, bald monks who look like Voldemort, and all sorts of magical business. The filmmakers have repeatedly described the film, which features a script by "Drive" writer Hossein Amini and "Fast and Furious" constant Chris Morgan, as being an attempt at making a live action Hayao Miyazaki movie. And it looks like they've more or less succeeded.
"47 Ronin" looks like genuinely exciting, next-level filmmaking, and despite all of the iffy buzz, could be a Christmastime must-see. Of course, I would probably watch Keanu Reeves read the phone book for two hours so what do I know?
Check out the latest trailer above. "47 Ronin" opens on Christmas Day.