2013’s 47 Ronin was a historical fantasy that followed 47 masterless samurai on revenge quest against the corrupt warlord who murdered their master. The film had an affecting tragic romance between Keanu Reeves and Kou Shibasaki as well as a standout villain performance by Tadanobu Asano. Even as a fan of the first film I’m shocked that it’s receiving a sequel. Those familiar with the tale of the 47 Ronin should know that the story ends with the warriors committing seppuku. How can the story continue when all the characters are dead?
The next story will take place 300 years after the first 47 Ronin film in a cyberpunk future where samurai clans exist in secret. The film is directed by Ron Yuan (The Paper Tigers) and stars Anna Akana (Grrl Scouts, Jupiter’s Legacy) and Mark Dacascos (John Wick: Chapter 3). The futuristic element is a bold new direction feels alive with creative potential.
The idea of a cyberpunk samurai story sounds very similar to Samurai Jack. This is made all the more strange considering that Keanu Reeves was originally tapped to play Samurai Jack in a live-action adaptation. Additionally Last Knights (my favorite film of all time) was originally going to be an adaptation of the 47 Ronin story, but was rewritten when the 2013 film was announced. Some stories are so strong that they transcend time and culture. Much like the Seven Samurai being reinterpreted as the Magnificent Seven, the tale of the 47 Ronin continues to be retold. I look forward to this next samurai fantasy adventure.