Because of the way modern Hollywood works eventually all of the great directors will have their best films remade, and in recent years Akira Kurosawa has been no exception. Though none of them have been reached the production stage yet, studios are developing remakes of Seven Samurai, High and Low, Drunken Angel and Ikiru as you read this. But if you thought that was going to be the end of it, I have some bad news.
Variety reports that a company called Splendent Media has made a deal to "represent worldwide rights" for 26 of Kurosawa's directed films, 24 he wrote but didn't direct and 19 of his unproduced screenplays. While this obviously doesn't include the titles mentioned above, which are all set up at other studios, movies like Ran, Rashomon, Yojimbo, and Dreams are all included in the deal. The company will largely be serving as a sales agent for the titles, but may also produce some. Said Sakiko Yamada, principal of Splendent Media, about the deal, "We are thrilled and deeply honored to have been entrusted to represent this spectacular treasure trove of films and screenplays, and to help contemporary filmmakers introduce a new generation of moviegoers to these unforgettable stories."
I'm going to do my best to look on the bright side of this situation. After all, The Hidden Fortress was key in inspiring George Lucas to create Star Wars, and both John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai) and Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (Yojimbo) are some of the best examples of westerns ever made. We should also remember that just because someone holds the remake rights doesn't mean that they'll actually do it. While I imagine we will see some modernized versions of Kurosawa films come out of this deal, we can hope that some will remain untouched.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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