47 Ronin is an upcoming 2013 American fantasy action film depicting a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenge the murder of their master (known as a "chūshingura" in Japan). The American studio Universal Pictures is producing the adaptation. The film is directed by Carl Erik Rinsch and stars Keanu Reeves, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada and an ensemble of other Japanese actors. Filming started in Budapest in March 2011; it moved to Shepperton Studios in London and will conclude in Japan. The release date was initially moved from November 21, 2012 to February 8, 2013, then again to Christmas Day 2013.
The outcast Kai (Reeves) joins a group of Ronin, led by Kuranosuke Oishi (Sanada), who seeks vengeance on Lord Kira (Asano) for killing their master and banishing the group. The Ronin embark on a journey whose challenges would defeat most warriors.
Keanu Reeves as Kai, an outcast who joins the group of Ronin. Reeves's character is half-Japanese and half-British; the character was created for the film.
Tadanobu Asano as Lord Kira, the Shogun's master of ceremonies and the one responsible for killing the Ronins' master.
Rinko Kikuchi as Mizuki, a lady who serves Lord Kira.
Hiroyuki Sanada as Kuranosuke Oishi, the leader of the Ronin.
Kou Shibasaki as Mika, the slain master's daughter and Kai's love interest.
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as the Shogun
Jin Akanishi as Chikara Oishi, Kuranosuke's son.
Rick Genest as Savage
47 Ronin is directed by Carl Erik Rinsch based on a screenplay by Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini. While the film is based on the true story of the forty-seven Ronin, it is a fantastical take, being set "in a world of witches and giants". The studio Universal Pictures first announced the project in December 2008 with actor Keanu Reeves attached to star. Variety reported, "The film will tell a stylized version of the story, mixing fantasy elements of the sort seen in The Lord of the Rings pics, with gritty battle scenes akin to those in films such as Gladiator." Universal planned to produce the film in 2009 after finding a director.In November 2009, Universal entered talks with Rinsch to direct the film. For Rinsch, who has filmed "visual and stylish" blurbs for brands, the film is his feature film debut.
In December 2010, the studio announced that the film would be produced and released in 3D. Between March and April 2011, five Japanese actors were cast alongside Reeves: Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Kou Shibasaki, and Jin Akanishi. According to Variety, Universal chose them to make the story more authentic instead of picking actors that would be recognizable in the United States. Universal is providing Rinsch with a production budget of $170 million despite his lack of feature film experience, which The Hollywood Reporter considered to be a "large-scale, downright risky" move. Filming began on March 14, 2011 in Budapest.Production moved to Shepperton Studios in the United Kingdom; additional filming in Japan is also planned.Reeves said that scenes are filmed first in the Japanese language to familiarize the cast, and the scenes are filmed again in the English language.The actors' costumes were designed by Penny Rose, who said, "We decided to base it on the culture and what the shapes should be., everyone's in a kimono—but we've thrown a kind of fashion twist at it. And we've made it full of color, which is quite unusual for me."