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‘Seven Samurai’, this time in the Middle Ages

Seven SamuraiDo you ever have the feeling that Seven Samurai is a little bit everywhere these days? Well, with last year’s Japanese Pachinko remake, the Weinsteins reimagination project, Irvine Welsh’s soccer adaptation, a rumoured sci-fi adaptation, an apparent Chinese homage, a related short film and even a one-man touring theatre performance (which I haven’t mentioned before), you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that this poor cow is already being milked hard enough.

Well, apparently not, if director Rob Cohen has his say. And… Wait! Rob who, you may ask — at least I certainly did. Well, apparently he’s the fellow behind such films as The Fast and the Furious, xXx and the latest Mummy sequel. And now, sources like Variety, /Film and MTV Movies Blog report that his next project will be called Medieval. While few details are so far available, it is described as a film about seven “warriors from disparate cultures” working together to steal a king’s crown in order to earn their freedom.

While that isn’t exactly Seven Samurai, the film is being described as The Magnificent Seven set in the Middle Ages, so you do have a fairly strong link with Kurosawa’s work there at least. (Those not aware of it, The Magnificent Seven is a remake of Seven Samurai.) Whether that’s just marketing talk or something that describes the overall concept and not the actual story, remains to be seen.

Production is to start in October, and I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.




I’ve always thought a version of SEVEN SAMURAI set in the middle ages with knights and serfs would be a nice way to restage the tale, but Rob Cohen? DRAGONHEART wasn’t bad, but stripped the original script, a truly fantastic read, of much of its subtext. Since then, he’s become little more than a hack action director. I’ve seen nearly all his films, and they are entertaining enough, but he’s much more concerned with “cool” popcorn thrills and this bizarrely reckless cubist editing philosophy (just try listening to some of his more recent commentaries) than he is complex characters and layered storytelling. I’ll still see the flick should it get made, but my expectations will be kept low. At the moment, I’m more enthusiastic about the modern version with mercenaries in Thailand. That concept has a lot of potential and I’m eager to see who they line up to direct.

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