Keanu Reeves is in final negotiations to star as a samurai swordsman in Universal's period film 47 Ronin, which is likely to be the feature directorial debut of commercial helmer Carl Rinsch.
Rinsch was originally in line to direct the Alien prequel/reboot, having been hand picked by producers Tony Scott and the original franchise launcher, Ridley Scott. But Fox wouldn't greenlight the film unless Ridley was at the helm, and so Rinsch got the boot. Universal seems to have infinitely more faith in Rinsch, entrusting the first timer to helm the high-budgeted potential tentpole.
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. Screen-writer Chris Morgan(co-writer on Wanted/Fast and the Furious) has tailored his script so that the half-Asian Reeves can play one of the swordsmen.
Walter Hamada and Chris Fenton will exec produce, with Scott Stuber producing the high-priority film for Universal.
Venkman compiled a ton of the commercials Rinsch has directed for such brands as BMW, Heineken and Mercedes. All of the commercials have an amazing visual flare, and have tended to be technologically and futuristically themed. So a period piece about samurais seems to be a bit of a departure. The last big American samurai pic was the 2003's The Last Samurai, which starred Tom Cruise and earned $455 million worldwide.
What do you think of Reeves staring as a samurai in Rinch's 47 RONIN?