×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Universal circles Rinsch for ’47 Ronin’

Director in advance talks for Keanu Reeves starrer

Universal Pictures is near a deal with Carl Erik Rinsch to make his feature directing debut on “47 Ronin,” the epic period samurai swordsmen tale that will star Keanu Reeves.

Scott Stuber is producing through his Stuber Pictures banner, with Pam Abdy also aboard in a producing capacity.

Pic is a priority project for Universal, and it is unusual to see a first-timer entrusted to helm a film with a large budget and tentpole aspirations.

Rinsch, who shoots commercials for RSA, has been on Hollywood’s radar. RSA owners Ridley and Tony Scott previously had discussions with Rinsch to direct a prequel to “Aliens,” until Ridley Scott decided to return to the franchise he launched.

Rinsch is known for shooting visual and stylish blurbs for such brands as Mercedes, Sprite, BMW and Heineken.

Actioner “47 Ronin” tells the famous fact-based story of a band of samurai swordsmen who avenge the death of their master in 18th century Japan. The Chris Morgan (“Wanted”) script was tailored so that the half-Asian Reeves can play one of the swordsmen. The picture mixes the fantastical elements of films like “The Lord of the Rings” with battle scenes of the sort found in “Gladiator” and “300.”

Walter Hamada, Chris Fenton and Erwin Stoff are exec producers.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Sir Elton JohnElton John AIDS Foundation

    Recappin' Fantastic: The Most Fascinating Reveals from Elton John's Memoir, 'Me'

    How charming, and jaw-droppingly candid, is Elton John’s memoir, “Me”? Consider this: It’s a 350-page book that’s not so overly caught up in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — which, to be sure, it supplies in roughly equal, copious amounts  — that it won’t take a time-out to recount the party where Elton made [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon Kerry Washington Ryan Reynolds

    Market for Package Deals and Original Ideas Heats Up Ahead of Platform Launches

    Practically every studio in town wanted it, but in the end it was Apple that swept in to nab the reinterpretation of “A Christmas Carol” with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. To buy the highly coveted package, the tech giant was willing to shell out more than $60 million to the stars and the film’s [...]

  • Ruben Fleischer

    Ruben Fleischer Returns to His Roots for 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    Recapturing the personality of a successful film for its follow-up can be a challenging task for a filmmaker, given the story told, characters involved and especially the time passed between installments. But even after 10 years, “Zombieland: Double Tap” director Ruben Fleischer knew exactly what to focus on to ensure that his sequel lived up [...]

  • Maleficent

    How 'Maleficent' Sequel's Characters Drove Costumes and Special Effects Makeup

    The art of making sequels demands a fine balance between revisiting an existing world and giving the audience something new to chew on. For Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” costume designer Ellen Mirojnick and special effects makeup designer David White started with the familiar and built things out from there. “This movie is a fantastic [...]

  • Michael Caine poses for a portrait

    Michael Caine, Lena Headey to Star in Modern-Day Version of 'Oliver Twist'

    Michael Caine, Lena Headey and pop star Rita Ora are to star in “Twist,” a modern-day, gender-bending film interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “Oliver Twist” for Sky, which will release the film day and date in theaters and on its pay-TV platform. The title role of Oliver is played by Jude Law’s son Raff [...]

  • Lucia Milazzotto

    Rome MIA Director Lucia Milazzotto Talks Linear TV and Theatrical Comeback

    MIA market director Lucia Milazzotto is the main architect of Rome’s new format post-Mipcom, pre-AFM confab launched five years ago to serve as a driver for the Italian industry in the global arena. The MIA acronym stands for (Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo, or International Audiovisual Market). Milazzotto spoke to Variety about how this unique event featuring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content