Home > Film, History > Clint Eastwood Gives Blessing For Japanese Remake Of Unforgiven Starring Ken Watanabe

Clint Eastwood Gives Blessing For Japanese Remake Of Unforgiven Starring Ken Watanabe

From a western to a samurai epic!

Warner Brothers Japan has announced it will remake Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven as a samurai epic with internationally renowned actor Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha) as the leading star and Lee Sang-il (Villain) at the helm as director. The film will be set in 1880 on the northern island of Hokkaido after the fall of the Tokugawa Shōgunate.

Watanabe will take on the Eastwood role as a samurai living in poverty who becomes a bounty killer. He will be joined by veteran actors Akira Emoto, playing the Morgan Freeman role, and Koichi Sato as Gene Hackman’s character.

The production marks the first Japanese remake of an Oscar-winning film. Development began in May 2011 with Eastwood giving his blessing last November. “I’m honoured that my good friend Ken Watanabe, who did such great work on Letters From Iwo Jima, is teaming up with Lee Sang-il for the Japanese remake of Unforgiven,” Eastwood said in a statement.

Filming is set to begin in mid-September until end of November 2012 on location in Hokkaido and is expected to be released in cinemas autumn 2013.

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DVD Review: Hara-kiri: Death Of  A Samurai – A Film By Takashi Miike

DVD Review: Samurai Warrior – A Film By Kenichiro Nishiumi

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  1. August 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Sounds like it’ll be amazing!! Ken Watanabe a perfect choice for the lead role…can’t wait for its release. Pretty neat too having an American western translated to Asian cinema…I liked Unforgiven too.


    • August 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Yeah, I like the original too, but have high hopes for the remake. The idea reminds me of what Akira Kurosawa used to do in his day, taking a western concept like a John Ford film and making Japanese. I think the idea will work as a samurai epic. Watanabe is a good choice – internationally known and respected.


  1. September 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

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