Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic The Seven Samurai is undoubtedly the greatest samurai film ever made, so the news that The Weinstein Company was planning a remake was not exactly well-received by fans. But John Fusco, who was hired to script the updated version, told Geeks of Doom that his story is not a remake, but rather a re-imagining.
“I would never be crazy enough to attempt to write a remake of one of the greatest films of all time,” Fusco said in a recent interview with Geeks of Doom while promoting the upcoming DVD release for The Forbidden Kingdom. “It is simply a re-imagining.”
Kurosawa’s original film took place in feudal Japan, where a group of seven masterless samurai warriors are hired by a village of poor farmers to protect them from maraudering bandits. In 1960, director John Sturges remade the film into a Western set in Mexico called The Magnificent Seven which replaced the samurai with hired U.S. gunmen. Fusco’s re-imagining will also nix the samurai in favor of a modern-day tale of Blackwater-like paramilitary contractors defending a Northern Thailand town from an imminent attack.
Fusco, whose screenplays include the The Young Guns movies, Hidalgo, and the recent Jackie Chan/Jet Li flick The Forbidden Kingdom, explained that his Seven screenplay is more of a “contemporary exploration of the classic round-up movie and the idea of masterless warriors.”
“The “round up” idea goes back to the Greek classic Seven Against Thebes, which inspired the great Kurosawa to create The Seven Samurai, which inspired The Magnificent Seven,” Fusco said. “I wish we could just call it a remake of Seven Against Thebes.
Fusco, who said he dislikes the practice of remakes and half-expects Fox to eventually remake The Young Guns, stressed that his Seven Samurai will not be a straight remake of the original. “I think some [movies] can be re-imagined and some can’t be. I do not believe any one should ever remake The Seven Samurai set in feudal Japan. [The new re-imagining of Seven Samurai] has a few respectful bows to the master Kurosawa, but I don’t consider it to be a remake by any stretch.”
No word yet on director or cast, or what Fusco’s version will be titled.
Additional reporting by Movies At Midnight.