Kadokawa Haruki Jimusho, thecompany of uber-producer Haruki Kadokawa, has acquired the remake rights to theAkira Kurosawa classics Yojimbo and Tsubaki Sanjuro from KurosawaProduction.
The purchase price, asannounced by Kadokawa Haruki Jimusho, is $2.8m (Y3000m).
The company has indicatedthat, after it remakes the films for the Japanese market, it may makeadditional versions with foreign partners. It also intends toengage best-selling author Harutoshi Fukui (Lorelei, Aegis) to pennovelizations of the remakes. Directors, cast and release dates have yet to bedecided, however.
Kurosawa's films have beenremade several times in Hollywood and elsewhere. Two new Hollywood remakes, of DrunkenAngel and Ikiru, are reportedly in the pipeline. In Japan, however,only one Kurosawa remake, of his 1950 breakthrough film Rashomon, has beenreleased, under the title Misty, in 1997.
Company advisor Haruki Kadokawa is also producing Yamato, a big-budgetWorld War II film set for a December release. Once the most successful producerin the Japanese film industry, who churned out hit after hit for nearly twodecades, Kadokawa was arrested on a drug charge in 1993. His dinosaur epic Rexwaspulled from the theatres, he lost control of the publishing company founded byhis father and was regarded an industry non-person for years while he foughthis conviction through the courts. He ended up serving a two-and-a-half-yearsentence and was released in April of 2004.