Lion Rock, Nikkatsu team on Yakuza pic

John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Prods. and Nikkatsu Corp. will co-produce “Day of the Beast.”

The English-language project is a remake of Seijun Suzuki’s 1963 pic “Youth of the Beast,” centering on the dealings of yakuza, the Japanese mafia.

Woo will direct from a script by Rob Frisbee. Woo will aso produce along with Chang and Nikkatsu’s Naoki Sato. Lori Tilkin, Aki Sugihara and Yoko Asakura are exec producing.

The production was announced Wednesday on the opening day of Cannes. The announcement also noted that Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest major movie studio, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

“This remake is my salute to the great films and filmmakers produced by Nikkatsu’s 100 years in cinema history,” Woo said.

Nikkatsu president Naoki Sato said, “Among Nikkatsu’s 6,000-plus film library, this is one of our most revered titles.”

“Day of the Beast,” set in Tokyo, follows a Western outsider with a grim past as he becomes embroiled in a global turf war between a vicious new breed of yakuza and old school Russian mobsters.

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