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Eastwood 'thrilled' at Japanese remake of 'Unforgiven'


Veteran Hollywood movie star and director Clint Eastwood says he is thrilled at the Japanese remake of his 1992 Oscar-winning revisionist western "Unforgiven."

The Japanese version, titled "Yurusarezarumono," is directed and written by South Korean Lee Sang-il. Inspired by Eastwood's film, writer/director Lee Sang-il (the Japan Academy Prize-winning film "Villain," "Hula Girls") shifts the setting to Hokkaido. The film stars Ken Watanabe as Jubei Kamata, reinterpreting the role played by Eastwood in the original, with Akira Emoto ("Villain," "Dr Akagi") taking on the part played by Morgan Freeman, and Koichi Sato ("Crest of Betrayal," "What the Snow Brings") reprising Gene Hackman’s role as the authoritarian lawman.

The story is set around 1880, the start of the Meiji period following the collapse of the Edo shogunate, at a time when the Japanese government is attempting to open the land (then named Ezo) populated by the indigenous Ainu people.

In the shogunate’s waning days, Jubei Kamata (Watanabe), a former swordsman of the shogunate, slaughters countless rebels under orders, earning a fearsome reputation in Kyoto. Following the government’s collapse, he takes part in a succession of bloody battles culminating in the decisive battle at Goryokaku, then vanishes without a trace, eluding the determined efforts of the new government to capture him.

More than a decade later, Kamata lives in desolate isolation as a frugal rancher with an Ainu woman as his wife and their children. His wife — who alone transformed a man whose only reason for existence was to kill — dies, leaving him to guard over her grave with their children in sparse austerity.

However, the man who vowed never to take sword again finds himself driven by poverty to once again join battle as a bounty hunter. Together with a former comrade, he faces those convinced in their own justice. Another cycle of violence starts anew in another new era.

At a news conference in Tokyo, Watanabe read out a message from Eastwood, with whom he worked in "Letters From Iwo Jima."

""Very impressive. I am beyond contented. I feel the beginning of a new era for Japanese cinema," Eastwood said in the message.

Watanabe said: "Clint has a big heart, allowing us to remake his film without hesitation. Not only did he allow us to do so, but he also embraced the project."

Recalling his thoughts when he started the project, Sang-il said, “It has been 20 years since the release of 'Unforgiven.' People wander between 'good' and 'evil,' no matter who you are — this is the theme, which lies within this film and it speaks deeply to us even today, still unable to end the vicious cycle of violence. It is my belief to create films that people can relate to — people who carry doubts and redemption, striving to be right, rather than people who insist they are right without any doubts."

The film opens in Japan on Sept 13. There are no plans yet for a U.S. release. The trailer is below.

© Japan Today

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Cool. his original spaghettis were influenced by Kurosawa and now this is reverse.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Frontier justice, Hokkaido style! Won't be the same without Clint the Squint and Morgan Freeman though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This should be fantastic. Eastwood's brilliance + Watanabe's excellence - wow!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's fair, he's done similar in his early career. I look forward to seeing it upon a day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This looks good. There are so many parallels between feudal Japan and the frontier West so I reckon this has huge potential.

1 ( +4 / -3 )


True dat. LOL.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Talking about coming full circle with this great looking movie. Can't wait to see it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Eastwood is old! People his age would be equally thrilled from simply turning the TV on and listening to static!

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

People should see the original movie in 1992 and then compare it with this one. Only seeing the trailer almost made me cry why is this movie so sentimental I feel like Iam definatly gona see this movie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

looks very good .. Akum has gotta see this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was watching Yojimbo recently, and noticed events that were repeated in Eastwood westerns. The west remakes the east, and back again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eastwood + Ken Watanabe = true heaven for this gal!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This looks good. There are so many parallels between feudal Japan and the frontier West so I reckon this has huge potential

Yeah even though I don't like Clint Eastwood, I think this movie is going to be great, even if it is a "remake"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Eastwood celebrated the wonderful news by spending the following two hours yelling at his recliner."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Looking forward to this...

but @Aaron Loki Brummett... is your intent to just post mindless chaff everywhere?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

From Unforgiven:

"It's a hell of a thing killing a man. You take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good to hear about

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was mediocre on the original unforgiven, thus have low expectations, thus I imagine I will enjoy it.

It said "South Korean" director, but he's made Jpns movies, Is he from S Korea, or is he Korean-Jpns?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course he's gonna say it. What, is he gonna say otherwise and sabotage the movie? It's like Japanese saying about American remakes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'Yojimbo' certainly inspired Sergio Leone, and Eadtwood took much from that role to morph from Rowdy Yates to the man with no name.......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope that movie will be shown here someday soon!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unforgiven is fantastic. This should also be very good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

answer my own question,

yes, the director's Korean-Japanese, from Niigata, apparently.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The original was one of my favorites and I dig Watanabe. I'll watch it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good one, tebasaki. Really funny.

As for the remake, the trailer lets me know it's stupid. You cannot top that original movie.

Sorry, Mr.E.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I was building a house."

Awesome! I'll be sure to check this out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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