Clint Eastwood recently sat down with Darren Aronofsky for a Tribeca Talks Directors Series discussion following the world premiere of Richard Schickel’s documentary Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story. The discussion between the two filmmakers touches on a wide variety of topics, including Eastwood’s early career experiences with Sergio Leone.
When talking about Leone, Eastwood also mentions Kurosawa. He recollects how it actually was his love of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo that got him interested in doing A Fistful of Dollars with Leone, a director he had never even heard of before. Yet, no one apparently told Eastwood that they were actually not doing a remake of Yojimbo, at least officially, for about halfway through the filming, when he mentioned to some people how he was working on a Yojimbo remake, a producer came up to him and told him not to mention that their film is based on Kurosawa’s. When Eastwood asked why, he was told that the rights were not quite yet cleared. The rest, of course, is history.
Eastwood also very briefly mentions his later encounter with Kurosawa himself.
You can watch the whole 40 minute video below, or by going to livestream.com. The bits about Leone and Kurosawa start at around the 28:45 mark. Do note that if you run an adblocker, the video may not load properly.