British director Scott Mann has been tapped to direct the reboot, which is set to be released in 2014. Considering Mann's previous experience is less than impressive (his biggest film to date was 2009's The Tournament, which was about a group of assassins who… never mind, it's kind of stupid), the announcement is less than overwhelming.
But it gets worse. The screenwriter attached to the project is John Fusco, who's perhaps best known for 1980s artifacts Young Guns and Crossroads (the one where the Karate Kid has a guitar duel with Steve Vai in the bar from Roadhouse), and, more recently, two different movies about horses.
The film has an estimated $60 million budget and will be set in a town in northern Thailand, where a group of villagers hires an international team of paramilitary contractors to defend their town from attack.
Kurosawa's original is routinely described (in the feverish hyperbole of film students and Quentin Tarantino) as the best Japanese film of all time. Aside from being the kind of studio-bankrupting historical epic that either ends up as Heaven's Gate or, well, The Seven Samurai, the film is the archetype for nearly every "badass group of heroes defends small town/woman/animal from faceless horde" movie and has been cited as the birth of the modern action film.
With such a storied history, it's a little disconcerting to see the remake headed by a creative team with such an uninspiring track record and given a story that reads almost exactly like the most recent Rambo. Here's hoping this doesn't end up sending film buffs everywhere into conniptions when (and if) it's released.