by Chris MaGee
Here goes the rumour mill again... It all started with a veteran Japanese film blogger Don Brown (a.k.a Ryuganji tweeting Twitch picked up the rumour and started to speculate the chances of Kitano bringing his latest yakuza romp back to the screen. Apparently Yahoo Japan and Sankei Sports had run similar reports, but then had yanked them froim their websites. I think that move is our our best evidence that the 63-year-old Kitano will not be making an "Outrage" sequel.
Todd Brown at Twitch made a very good point that the same rumours occurred after Kitano's 2003 franchise reboot "Zatoichi" did very decent business at the Japanese box office. Add to that that Kitano continued to support the platinum blonde dye job that he used for his Zatoichi character for a couple of years afterwards and the Japanese media wouldn't let go of the possibility that he'd play Zatoichi in a sequel. In actual fact Kitano had moved on and the blonde hairdo made an appearance in his next film "Takeshis'". Now we have "Outrage" which did very impressive box office for a Takeshi Kitano film, films that normally come and go without ever cracking the Japanese box office top ten. "Outrage" hung in there in the top ten for a month though, which I think is fueling this rumour.
I don't have any inside information on this at all, so my opinion is based on just as much speculation as everyone else's, but I'd say that the biggest reason that Kitano won't make another "Outrage" is the very fact it was such a huge success. Kitano has been quoted many times saying that his films are mainly financed with his own money, while his income from his dozens of TV appearances, newspaper columns, endorsement deals, etc., is kept separate. While I do think that Kitano's much reviled deconstrunctive trilogy of "Takeshis'", "Glory to the Filmmmaker" and "Achilles and the Tortoise" must have definitely put a deep dent into Kitano's wallet "Outrage", despite the mixed reaction it received on the festival circuit, would have remedied that. For that reason alone Kitano doesn't need to make another "Outrage".
It's true that since Kitano's 1997 film "Hana-bi" won the Golden Lion at that year's Venice Film Festival that Kitano has hoped that he'd add some more trophy hardware to his mantle and that it's more than likely affcted his directorial choices. That being said Kitano isn't a filmmaker that hungers for public approval, especially from Japanese movie-goers, a group that has always run more cold than hot on his feature films. At the end of the day I believe that there's simply no reason for Kitano to go back to make a sequel to "Outrage". The chances of that are similar to him making a sequel to "Kikujiro" or "Sonatine"... although Kitano's character would have to come back from the dead. A yakuza ghost story...? Now that might be interesting...