by Chris MaGee
There have been a rash of Akira Kurosawa posthumous project, re-imaginings and remakes announced in the past couple months. There was the plan to turn Kurosawa's last script "The Masque of the Black Death" into an animated film, the utterly absurd remake of "Seven Samurai" for use in pachinko machines and even the threat of a U.S. remake of "Rashomon" that from what I now hear will be set in present day America, but will retain the same title which makes absolutely no sense.
Now we can add another Kurosawa remake to this ever growing list, but call me a heretic, but this one doesn't make me as nervous. Jason Gray is reporting at his blog that at the recent ""Hollywood Remake Business Talk Session" that took place as part of TIFFCOM and this year's Tokyo IFF that plans are in the works for a U.S. remake of Kurosawa's 1963 kidnapping thriller "High and Low". I can hear you getting nervous. I know, it is an amazing film, but this may be the case where Hollywood may get things right. Check out the talent being brought on board: Martin Scorsese executive producing, Mike Nichols directing and David Mamet writing the screenplay. That's impressive. Another reason this remake doesn't have me breaking out in hives is that it was originally based on American source material, the 1959 novel by Ed McBain, "King's Ransom".
No production schedule or release date was announced, but this announcement has me less fearful than it has me intrigued. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.