In a greeting to the audience on September 17, theopening day of his new film Shinobi, director Ten Shimoyama announcedthat a Hollywood company has offered to remake his ninja actioner - even beforeits release in Japan.

Distributor and international sales company Shochiku hadscreened a 10-minute show reel of the film, a ninja actioner starring YukieNakama and Joe Odagiri, at this year's Cannes market. Off Road Pictures - thecorporate home of the Wachowski brothers - expressed interest in remaking thefilm, but in a moderrn-day setting instead ofearly 17thcenturyJapan.

Nakama and Odagiri play two lovers belonging to rivalninja clans. When the clans confront each other in a political disputeengineered by the crafty Shogun, the lovers become fighters - and put theirromance on hold. With both possessing supernatural powers, a titanic strugglesoon ensues.

Released by Shochiku nationwide on September 17, the filmis expected to earn at least $18m (Y2.0bn) locally. Also, Shochiku hasconcluded overseas distribution deals for thirteen territories and hopes toexpand that number to forty.

Shochiku managing director Takeo Hisamatsu told reporters that the two companies are now "negotiating thedetails" and that he hopes the directors of the remake will be theWachowskis.