Friday, February 18, 2005

Drunken Angel remake

Movie Poster for the original Drunken Angel by Akira Kurosawa Posted by Hello

Today while surfing, I found out that the Japanese movie Drunken Angel is going to be remade in Hollywood. The original is an Akira Kurosawa film. For those who aren't familiar with Kurosawa, he was the Japanese writer behind many amazing movies, including The Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. The Seven Samurai was the inspiration for the American western The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, etc. Kurosawa's Yojimbo was the partial inspiration for the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. The anime series Kaze No Yojimbo (which is one of the best, IMO) is also based on Yojimbo.

And now, Drunken Angel is being re-imagined for American audiences. It is scheduled for 2006. Drunken Angel is set in post-war Japan and is the story of a young gangster treated by an alcoholic doctor, who discovers that he has tuberculosis. When the guy's boss gets out of prison, he has to face him.

I am really excited that this movie is being remade and perhaps American audiences will learn to appreciate Kurosawa more. The trio who made The Aviator are going to make Drunken Angel -- Martin Scorsese directing, John Logan writing, and Leonardo DiCaprio starring.


McVane said...

Whoa! This is news to me. I loved DRUNKEN ANGEL, but there is no way I could imagine Leonardo DiCaprio in the role. Then again, who could imagine anyone in Mifune's role?
Actually, Scorsese and DiCaprio are also involved with a similar project: the remake of a Hong Kong film INFERNAL AFFAIRS. According to the IMDB, it's retitled as THE DEPARTED and Matt Damon is in the cast as well. If I were to guess, Damon gets the Good-Bad guy role and DiCaprio gets the Bad-Good guy role [if you don't know what I mean by all that, watch the film! :) It's worth seeing].
I have mixed feelings about all this, to be honest.

Beverly said...

I'm not familiar with Infernal Affairs. I will have to find out if I can get it from the library. I wonder what is behind the sudden rise in interest in foreign, particularly Asian, films. I like that some of these wonderful films will be seen by wider audiences, but will they even know where they come from originally? And will they stick to the original spirit of the films. I do have my doubts as well.

McVane said...

Well, it's been going for fifty years, with a steady flow of mini rises and falls, but this is the first time that we see a sharp increase. Off my head, there are 26 American remakes of Korean/Japanese/ Chinese films in the pipeline.
I don't have any problems with remakes [or film adaptations of novels, for that matter] because it's all about interpretations, isn't it? :)