Yen, Clooney and Ziyi In Seven Samurai Remake?

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor

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Over the last day and a bit several sites have been buzzing about a rumored remake of The Seven Samurai, possibly starring Donnie Yen, George Clooney and Zhang Ziyi and to be produced by The Weinstein Company. Now, I wouldn't go holding my breath for this one just yet, and here's why ...

While it is definitely the case the Bob and Harv are looking to work with Donnie in some higher profile films all of the excitement over this seems to stem from a seemingly innocuous comment Yen made while at Cannes, and which I found at Wu-Jing.org. Pretty much every other article I've seen on this is basing their news on a minimal comment from a production assistant at a film company Yen is currently working with, who in turn seems pretty clearly to be referencing this comment. Here's what he actually said:

"I did meet Harvey Weinstein at Cannes, and we talked about a few projects, including a movie in which he intends to get me, George Clooney and Zhang Ziyi. It's a remake of an Akira Kurosawa movie, but I do not know the details, for production would only begin next year. His company has two to three movies for me, I'm only waiting for the scripts to be out. If they're indeed filming Seven Samurai, I'd be raring to join, for I admire Akira Kurosawa greatly."

Note what he says: Harvey wants to make a movie with Yen, Ziyi and Clooney and it will possibly be a remake of a Kurosawa film. That combination is interesting but the news that Harv wants to make films with established stars is far from shocking.

Now note what he doesn't say: No contracts signed. No formal negotiations started. No scripts written for any Yen projects with the Weinsteins. He doesn't even say that the Kurosawa remake will be Seven Samurai, only that he'd be quite interested if that were the film to be remade.

Conclusion? Harv's floating ideas to see what's possible and where the interest lies. This is a guy pitching a concept at Cannes, where literally thousands of films that will never, ever see the light of day get pitched every year. I'm not saying it won't happen but this is a loooooooooong way from being etched in stone.

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