Reports from New York Comic Con suggest that filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie is working on a multiplatform franchise project called Rubicon, which has been described as Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai set in Afghanistan. In McQuarrie’s story, US Navy SEALs are the heroes and the Taliban the villains.
The project’s aim is to put out the story in three different media: a movie, a graphic novel, and a video game. The three will be created simultaneously, with the individual releases following different storylines which complement one another. The news was first reported by Deadline.com, which quotes producer Mark Long as mentioning that the intention is to “explore the true nature of war, for both its heroes and its victims.”
McQuarrie’s previous screenplay credits include the somewhat rashomonesque The Usual Suspects, the WW2 drama Valkyrie and most recently the romantic thriller The Tourist. In 2000, McQuarrie also directed The Way of the Gun from his own script, and is currently filming One Shot, a crime drama starring Tom Cruise and set for release in 2013.
As the project is apparently still in very early stages, there appears to be no realise timeline yet. Based on the comments reported at Deadline and elsewhere, it is also difficult to judge whether the work is intended as an actual remake of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, or whether it is only the “gathering of heroes” narrative aspect of the film that has been borrowed. Considering that the Weinstein Company is still working on a fairly similar sounding modern day remake of Seven Samurai, and that they are doing it together with Kurosawa Production, I assume that Rubicon is more “inspired by” than “remake of”, unless remake rights have been shared.
If I am counting right, Rubicon is the third recent high profile film project that has publicly named Seven Samurai as its source of inspiration. In addition to Rubicon and Weinsteins’ project, Irvine Welsh has apparently also been working on a soccer-inspired remake The Magnificent Eleven, although no news have been heard of its since its announcement last year, so it may well have been put on hold.