Zhang Ziyi is the flower of the Orient who has starred in such classy films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She also managed to overcome her Chinese-ness to play a Japanese woman in Memoirs of a Geisha. A stretch that should've earned her an Oscar by Hollywood standards.
What these two facts have in common is this: The Seven Samurai. John Fusco has been tapped to write, dare I say "update," a Hollywood, big budget remake of the Akira Kurosawa classic from 1954. Zhang Ziyi has been asked to star. The tentative release date is 2008.
Now, it is true that Hollywood remade this film before. Most notably as The Magnificent Seven ("We deal in lead, friend.") and less gloriously as Battle Beyond the Stars (which like MS, starred Robert Vaughn). But they have never attempted a straight-up remake of the period movie. (Note to any Hollywood insider attached to this production, if you don't know what the term "Sengoku Kidai" means... You have no business remaking this movie.)
I'm not sure how they plan to improve upon perfection. I'm sure it is a plan that includes lots of "ninjas" (possibly even ninjas from Tibet). There's bound to be lots of karate kicking, and maybe even some Brazilian jujutsu thrown in. I expect full on Ken Watanabe, and maybe a guest appearance from Jackie Chan.
I'm really torn about this news because any remake is bound to be so bad that I'm going to enjoy the sheer tragedy of it all anyway. Much like Tom Cruise's laughable The Last Samurai.
Please Hollywood. Have some shame. Show some dignity. Don't do this. I'll even give you my $8 ticket fee now if you promise not to make this movie. It's sheer folly.