BLADE OF THE 47 RONIN: Production Wraps on the DTV Follow Up to the Original Keanu Reeves Film

By: John M Jerva

Variety has brought the word that production has wrapped on Blade of the 47 Ronin which is the official title and is a loose follow up to the Keanu Reeves led 47 Ronin. Ron Yuan (Paper Tigers) helms the pic which now has a new title as well as synopsis which you can read below.

“The action is moved forward by some 300 years to present-day Budapest, which is intended as a metaphor for East-West confluence, and where a meeting of the five Samurai clans is taking place. In addition to the male clan leaders, the meeting is also attended by three Onna Bugeisha (literally ‘Women Warriors’), though their presence is initially resented.

The existence of female Samurai who fought alongside their male colleagues in feudal Japan is well documented. But their stories have rarely been told due to societal pressure and political turmoil. In “Blade” the women lead the campaign to reunite two halves of a mythical sword and keep it out of the hands of a villain who wants power for himself.

Producer Tim Kwok also elaborated on the synopsis and it’s female centric take:

“This is a female-driven story, with our main group of heroes — Luna, Onami, Aya and Mai — fighting alongside Reo, who is a male Ronin (exiled Samurai), for the fulfilment of the prophecy. They are also fighting against ingrained prejudices of the other clans about female warriors. The story of strong females fighting against societal pressures and expectations is really timely.”

Variety also released the full cast for the film which features a lot of martial arts infused talent including genre icon Mark Dacascos. The full cast list is below courtesy of the website.

Anna Akana, a U.S. actor and YouTube creator; U.S. martial artist Teresa Ting; Mike Moh, who played Bruce Lee in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”; veteran Vietnamese-American actor and filmmaker Dustin Nguyen(“Warrior”); Australian Chris Pang (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Crazy Rich Asians”); Japanese actor and model Chikako Fukuyama (“Terrace House: Aloha State”); and seasoned action specialist Mark Dacascos (“John Wick 3,” “Wu Assassins”).

They are joined by Luna Fujimoto (Chinese hit “Monster Hunt 2,” and the upcoming “Wandering Earth 2”) as one of the three female leaders; Koieyama Akira (“Samurai Marathon,” “47 Ronin,” “Sense8”); and Nino Furuhata (“Spaghetti Code Love,” “Tetris,” “The Limit of Sleeping Beauty”).

The original was based on the comic book of the Dane name while the sequel is its own entity. The new script was penned by John Swetnam and he co-wrote it with comic book writers Aimee Garcia (“Dexter,” “Robocop”) and A.J. Mendez who is WWE wrestler.

Director Ron Yuan made an official statement about the film which included talking about the criticism the first film took in terms of whitewashing and how he approached it for his film.

We need people who know the genres, people that know the history, people that can understand how to bring these stories, make it fresh and pop off the screen. Not like those old TV shows where every time there’s an Asian theme, or an Asian character, you hear the gong going ‘ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding dang’. None of that shit anymore.”

Yuan also talked about giving the franchise a remodel and what it meant for traditional themes mixed with modern day values.

“It was important that this new samurai and Ninja culture could be opened up to different personalities, not just in the Asian world, but all over, making it more international,”

This film will certainly on my radar for 2022 as it will most likely hit later next year with it already going into post-production. These DTV sequels take a lot of flack from critics and fans alike but I always keep an open mind to them in terms of production value, budget and resources.

With the level of talent involved with this one, it definitely has the opportunity to rise above the rest of the indie fair in 2022 so I’ll be waiting patiently to see what it has to offer in the action set pieces. Modern day Samurai action definitely is right up my alley so bring it on.

Blade of the 47 Ronin hails from Universal Studios via its 1440 Productions banner for Netflix. There is no official date for the film to premiere on the streaming service so keep it locked and loaded right here for more details as we are your destination for everything action!

Source: Variety

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