Weinsteins tap ‘Samurai’ director

Scott Mann to helm remake of the 1954 original

British helmer Scott Mann has signed on to direct a remake of Akira Kurosawa classic “Seven Samurai” that the Weinstein Co. and Japan’s Kurosawa Prods. are producing.

Pic, with an estimated budget of $60 million, will be a contempo interpretation of the 1954 original, which inspired 1960’s “The Magnificent Seven” and influenced other pics.

In the “Seven Samurai” remake, a town in northern Thailand recruits seven paramilitary contractors from around the globe to defend it from attack. Mann, who most recently helmed Robert Carlyle-Ving Rhames starrer “The Tournament,” — which gained cult status on both sides of the Pond — will help TWC develop the screenplay. They hope to shoot later this year.

Scribe John Fusco (“The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Young Guns”) has been developing the project at TWC for 18 months.

Mann recently announced several projects in development under his Mann Made Films banner with U.K. producing partner James Edward Barker, including horror pic “Saint Mary’s,” with helmer Michael Bassett (“Silent Hill 3D”) attached.

Mann is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group. He’s managed by Will Lowry at Generate Management.