Rob Cohen has decided to ditch Vin Diesel for the ghost of Toshir? Mifune. Variety says the director has abandoned his plans to direct a new, Vin Diesel starring XXX sequel titled XXX: The Return of Xander Cage in favor of something much, much cooler. He’s taking The Seven Samurai to the world of knights and ladies in waiting.

Actually, Cohen describes it as The Magnificent Seven in the Middle Ages which, if taken literally is sort of what The Seven Samurai already was. I’m going to assume by Middle Ages he means the Middle Ages in Europe rather than Japan and I’m also going to assume that he knows Magnificent Seven is a remake of The Seven Samurai and that it would make a lot more sense to base your movie on the original version rather than remaking a remake simply so you can name check a well-known Western. Or maybe Rob Cohen is as ridiculous as that statement makes him sound. I’m think we should give him the benefit of doubt.

Whether or not Cohen knows his ass from his forehead this really sounds like a worthwhile idea. Normally medieval movies are relegated to the endless remaking of the classic King Arthur tale or rehashing the same old Robin Hood stories (I’m looking at you Ridley Scott). The Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai framework would at least be a different way of approaching it while at the same time wrapping the whole thing in the trappings of a remake, as seems to be the prerequisite for getting anything made in Hollywood these days.

So this seems like a good idea, unfortunately Cohen’s track record is pretty spotty and the film’s being produced by McG, who’s the next worst thing to Brett Ratner. Not exactly the perfect pedigree, though directors far better than Cohen have mucked up the middle ages (now I’m looking at you Anton Fuqua), so maybe that doesn’t matter. Roll the dice, let’s see what Cohen can come up with.

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