Ken Watanabe to Star in Japanese Remake of 'Unforgiven'

Lukas Haas - Ken Watanabe - Inception - Screen Grab - 2010
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

The project will be a samurai version of the Clint Eastwood film and is the first local remake of a winner of the Oscar for best picture.

LONDON – Ken Watanabe will take the Clint Eastwood role in a Japanese remake of Unforgiven to be made by Time Warner's Warner Entertainment Japan.

Korean-Japanese helmer Lee Sang-Il (Hula Girls, Villain), who brought the idea of the project to Warner in May last year, will direct Yurusarezaru Mono (A Thing That Can’t Be Forgiven), which like the original, will be set in 1880.

Watanabe will play a samurai with a violent past, who lives on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido with his Ainu (the aboriginal people of the island) wife, but is brought out of retirement for one last job.

Koichi Sato (The Magic Hour) will play the Gene Hackman role, while veteran Akira Emoto (Villain) will take the part played by Morgan Freeman in the multi-Academy Award-winning original.

The production, due to start shooting in Hokkaido this fall and set for a Japanese release in fall 2013, is the first local remake of an Oscar Best Picture winner.