There have already been reports that the movie 47 Ronin is in trouble, and now things only seem to be getting worse. A lot worse. Apparently director Carl Rinsch has been removed from the editing room by Universal, like a naughty schoolboy from a classroom (ouch), and the studio is working to try and save the film, which has seen its budget balloon up to $225 million. Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley is now overseeing the production.
According to CinemaBlend (via The Wrap), the studio has already been doing reshoots, starting in late August, and it is said that they have added “a love scene, close-ups and individual lines to boost Keanu Reeves‘ presence.” The week-long reshoot schedule was delayed because of the London Olympics, and Reeves’ planned directorial debut Man of Tai Chi.
We first got wind of the problems last month when the film got pushed back again last month all the way to December 2013 (it had already been reshuffled to February 2013). Reshoots are a fairly regular thing in Hollywood, but that the production budget was just getting out of control to the point that the studio had to take the reigns away from Rinsch.
They’ve also reportedly halted some of the visual-effects production, having “shrunk the staff and only produced what it knew would make the cut.” It would seem to any outsider that Universal are a little gun-shy after having taken an $80 million loss on Battleship earlier this year.
We’re also getting some conflicting reports from an apparent unnamed Universal executive, who has stated that the production hasn’t gone beyond its original $175 million budget, despite the fact that the reshoots were done. It was said that Rinsch, who is directing his first feature, simply, “buckled under the pressure.” In accordance with Directors Guild of America rules, Rinsch was kept around during the reshoots and then dismissed from the project.
We first heard about 47 Ronin in 2009 when it was first announced that Rinsch would be directing, so it’s been a long time in development. The film is based on a screenplay by Chris Morgan (Fast Five) and Hossein Amini (Drive), and tells the story of a band of samurai in the 18th century who wish to avenge the death of their master. In addition to Reeves the film also stars Tadanobu Asano, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Rinko Kikuchi.
What do you think of the latest 47 Ronin news?