American Westerns and Japanese cinema have always been inextricably linked, but mostly it's been a one-sided love affair. Hollywood has long had a fondness for taking liberally from Japanese samurai films, stripping them down, and remaking them as part of the Western genre, and now we're seeing that trend be reversed more often of late. Clint Eastwood's classic Unforgiven has been given the remake treatment by director Sang-il Lee (Hula Girls), and previous teasers have shown a lot of promise for capturing the film's gritty tone. Now the first full trailer has been released and it looks exceptional.
Inception and The Last Samurai star Ken Watanabe fits comfortably into Eastwood's boots, taking on the role of a poor retired samurai in 1800s Hokkaido, who is drawn back into conflict more out of desperation than desire. The original film was a brilliant deconstruction of the Western genre, and while it's hard to tell if the remake has the same goals, on a visual and emotional level there are a lot of similarities.
Unforgiven aka Yurusarezaru mono opens in Japan on September 13th, and dammit it better get here at some point.