The pairing of the words “Japanese” and “remake” is nothing all that new. For years we’ve been lifting plot points, settings and entire scripts from Japan, and rebranding them as American. We remade Infernal Affairs into The Departed. We took The Seven Samurai and made it The Magnificent Seven. We turned Battle Royale into the Hunger Games. Most recently we’ve decided to try to remake Old Boy, and how that is going to go over with American audiences is anyone’s guess (especially if they don’t change the ending at all). Sometimes it works, and sometimes it falls flat, but it looks like a bit of a paradigm shift is occurring and the east has decided to remake one of the greatest American movies of all time – Unforgiven.
Think of it as a reverse Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven ordeal, where instead of taking a period pieced set in feudal Japan and putting in the old West the film makers are taking a movie originally set in the old West and putting it towards the end of the age of the samurai. The trailer has no subtitles, but if you’ve seen Unforgiven then you can probably figure out what’s going on. You can even glimpse which characters are which as the Japanese renditions of Little Bill, Ned, English Bob and of course William Munny are all featured.