Universal will reshine ‘Shinobi’

Makowski to direct remake of Japanese film

Universal Pictures has acquired remake rights to the 2005 Japanese action hit “Shinobi” from Shochiku and set Max Makowski to write the script and direct.

Redo is a co-production of Circle of Confusion and Spitfire Pictures.

The Hong Kong-based Makowski first popped onto the radar when his Asian gangster pic “One Last Dance” premiered at Sundance last year. Since then, he has made a deal to develop a drama based on an idea he devised at Paramount with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura; Dave Callaham is writing.

Makowski will begin scripting the “Shinobi” remake immediately in hopes it can begin production early next year. While the original pitted two rival ninja clans against each when members from each fall in love, Makowski is modernizing the Romeo and Juliet premise and resetting it in Hong Kong. There, the victor of a 160-year-old feud between two multinational security forces is being decided, with a love affair complicating matters. Makowski will infuse the film with elements from Asian gangster and ninja genres.

Pic will be produced by David Alpert, David Engel, Rick Jacobs, Nigel Sinclair, Guy East and Tobin Armbrust. If the film shoots in Asia as planned, Makowski’s company Film Orient will be involved.

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