Carl Rinsch to helm '47 Ronin'

2:45 PM PST 11/17/2009 by Steven Zeitchik, AP

Commercials director was loosely attached to 'Alien' prequel

Carl Rinsch may not be directing the "Alien" prequel. But he's got a pretty good alternative.

The commercials director, who had been loosely attached to the reboot of the sci-fi franchise, has landed the gig to helm "47 Ronin," the samurai pic that's set up at Universal with producers Scott Stuber and Pamela Abdy.

"Ronin" centers on a group of 18th century samurai who set out to avenge the death of their master. Keanu Reeves is attached to star in the film. Chris Morgan, who counts "Fast & Furious" and "Wanted" among his writing credits, penned the screenplay.

The CAA-repped Rinsch is the commercials wunderkind who made his name directing spots, many with futuristic themes, for the likes of Mercedes and Heineken.

He had originally been reported as attached to "Alien," but reports later broke that Fox preferred Ridley Scott direct it himself (he had been on board only to produce). While there is no official word on "Alien," Rinsch now likely won't direct the prequel.

Samurai tales were for decades a staple in Japan, where movies like Kobayashi's "Harikiri" and Kurosawa's "Sanshiro Sugata" and "Seven Samurai" became broad hits. In the U.S. their audience has often been limited to a more arthouse audience, though Hollywood tried most notably in 2003 with Ed Zwick's "The Last Samurai," a Tom Cruise starrer that earned $455 million globally.
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