Universal has wrapped filming on a sequel to 2013’s Japanese-themed ’47 Ronin’. The new movie, titled ‘Blade of the 47 Ronin’, will be set 300 years in the future and feature a mostly female cast.
The story is set to take place in present-day Budapest and revolve around a meeting of five samurai clans. Their leaders include three female samurai, whose presence is resented by the male leaders. These women eventually lead a campaign to assemble a mythical sword and keep it out of the hands of a villain who wants to control the world. The film is reportedly going to incorporate horror and cyberpunk elements, among others.
According to the filmmakers, the idea to make the story about female samurai came from the Onna-Bugeisha – actual female samurai, well-documented in Japanese history as fighting alongside their male counterparts.
And while the previous ‘47 Ronin’ movie was based upon a real story and inspired by a graphic novel, the latest film uses a completely original script.
The original 2013 movie, which starred Keanu Reeves, initially bombed at the box office, and received low critic scores. While there were people that enjoyed the film’s visual style and choreography, many couldn’t get over the cultural issues they noticed in the movie, accusing the filmmakers of whitewashing and distorting Japanese history by mixing in foreign elements such as Chinese-style dragons.
Ron Yang, the new film’s director, mentioned that he intends to avoid those mistakes and wants to use the sequel to give the Ronin franchise a facelift. “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,” he said.
The latest film aims to tell a female-driven story about a group of heroes who “fight against ingrained prejudices of other clans about female warriors,” said the film’s producer, Tim Kwok. “The story of strong females fighting against societal pressures and expectations is really timely.”
'Blade of the 47 Ronin' is being produced by Universal Studios and is expected to premiere sometime in 2022, although no specific date has been given so far.