entertainment

Hachiko gets U.S. makeover with Richard Gere

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The story of the dog Hachiko has been transplanted to America in the upcoming Hollywood version, starring Richard Gere. “Hachiko: A Dog’s Story” is a remake of the 1987 film “Hachiko Monogatari.”

The original story of the Akita dog, which in the 1920s and 1930s waited for his master at Shibuya station for nearly a decade after his death, starred Tatsuya Nakadai, and earned more than 4 billion yen at theaters across Japan.

Richard Gere, 59, a reported dog-lover himself and star of the remake filmed on Rhode Island, was confident of the film’s success, and said: “It’s something I want my kids to see.”

The new film will be dubbed into Japanese with actor Kinya Kitaoji, 66, and actress Miki Maya, 45, lending their voices. The Japanese title is "Hachi, Yakusoku no Inu."

Directed by Lasse Halström, the production is part of Fuji Television's 50th anniversary celebration. To commemorate the film, a Hachiko Statue will be placed on Tokyo's Odaiba, where Fuji Television's headquarters is located.

The new statue will be 88.8 centimeters tall, weigh 88.8 kilograms and will be unveiled on May 12, 88 days before the movie’s release in Japan on Aug 8. The statue is expected to become a famous meeting spot, similar to the one in Shibuya.

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"Richard Gere, 59, a reported dog-lover himself..." Somewhere in there is a gerbil joke.

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The story of Hachiko is inspiring to be sure, however what will happen will be akita's becoming very popular in America. Then a few months later animal shelters will be flooded with akitas because some Americans do not realize the commitment to dog ownership.A dog looks cute in a movie and the kids suddenly want one, but lose interest later. Maybe ATSUSHI can host a photo show in the USA then.

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The story of Hachiko is inspiring to be sure, however what will happen >will be akita's becoming very popular in America.

They already are, and have been for the last 10-15 years. But most of the Akitas are US bred physically larger versions than the original Japanese ones. Because they are highly prized you don't see too many of them in animal shelters.

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The remake of Shall We Dance with Gere and Jennifer Lopez was great ( except for the character of his wife played by that awful Susan Sarandon ), and the original Hachiko was a real tear-jerker, so I expect this will be good.

Fuji TV is producing it?

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Why the second statue in Odaiba? Absolutely no reason for it. Let the genuine one in Shibuya maintain its uniqueness as a historical meeting place. Need a meeting spot in Odaiba? Then come up with something new and original!

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Odaiba has a meeting place -> Statue of Liberty. I think all these US remakes are destined for failure. It's like a couple of years ago when they did a remake of the Korean hit My Sassy Girl. That American version didnt even make it to the cinemas. Hollywood should come up with something original. Instead of remaking Asian films

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The remake of Shall We Dance with Gere and Jennifer Lopez was great ( except for the character of his wife played by that awful Susan Sarandon ), and the original Hachiko was a real tear-jerker, so I expect this will be good.

Shall We Dance was pretty good as a remake, although the only character I thought was better in the remake was Stanley Tuchi's character. All the others, I thought were done better in the Japanese version. Thats not to say Richard Gere and J-Lo didn't do a good job. They did. It was a good show, just the Japanese one was a bit better in most respects.

Back on topic, looking forward to the show myself.

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will they include the twist in the tail about the yakitori seller who feeds little hachiko kun?

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It'd probably be a hotdog vendor feeding Hachiko. LOL

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Will be interesting to see how Joan Allen ("Pamela Landy" from the Bourne Trilogy) fits into it. Her previous role was the warden in Death Race 2008!

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Because they are highly prized you don't see too many of them in animal shelters.

To Ossanamerica, I am sorry, but you are wrong about Akitas being highly prized and not in animal shelters. I have been doing Akita Rescue for almost 25 years and we average 20-30 calls and emails a week from shelters and owners wanting to rehome the Akitas they have. Many are dying daily in shelters because the rescue groups have no room for them, especially since the econonmic crash. The way this movie protrays Akitas will only encourage people to acquire this breed and most probably will not investigate the breed before they buy. This is what happened years ago, in the 80's the Akita was dubbed "The Yuppie Puppy". Once the owners realized what they had, they "got rid" of the dogs because they either had not done what was necessary to bring up a well mannnered Akita or did not want to do what is necessary to bring up a well mannered Akita. The story of Hachiko has always moved me to tears and I am sure this portrayal in the movie will do the same to me as well as to others who watch it. Akita rescuers and ethical breeders are dreading the opening of this movie because as with the "Yuppie Puppy" title in the 80's, this movie will bring out opportunistic people who know nothing about the breed jumping on the breeding bandwagon and selling Akitas to people without properly educating them about the breed. Then my tears will be for the Akitas whose owners bought them because of this movie, and once they realized that all Akitas are not like the one portrayed in the movie, dumped them in the shelters where many will end their lives in spite of the best efforts of the rescue groups.

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