Looks like the untouched screenplays of Japanese film legend Akira Kurosawa could finally be making their way to the big screen.
At a press event at the Cannes Film Festival today, Chinese gaming company Jinke Entertainment declared that it has acquired the rights to nine un-filmed Kurosawa works from Kurosawa Production Co., the Tokyo-based firm dedicated to promoting and protecting the filmmaker’s legacy.
The acquisition announcement in Cannes was made by Akira Kurosawa’s grandson, Takayuki Kato, who now heads up Kurosawa Production Co.
“My family and I are extremely pleased to work with Jinke Entertainment on the completion of my grandfather’s film Silvering Spear,” Kato said. “We look forward to giving his millions of fans around the world the chance to experience one of his final masterpieces. We hope this will be the first of many projects on which we work together with Jinke Entertainment.”
According to Jinke, which began as a chemicals manufacturer but in recent years diversified into mobile game development and distribution, the first Kurosawa project to go into production will be Silvering Spear (working title), a Samurai story set during Japan’s Warring States period.
Silvering Spear is scheduled to go on the floors in 2018 with additional production and casting announcements expected soon, the partners said.
This first project will be a Chinese-language film, but the other Kurosawa screenplays could be adapted in other languages, depending on which production partners are brought on board, Jinke added.
Zhang Zhengfeng, deputy general manager of Jinke Entertainment, added, “We hope to replicate the success we have achieved in the mobile gaming space in the motion picture genre.
We are deeply humbled that our first film project will be that of one of the cinema world’s most revered directors. We’re pleased to have the full support of Mr. Kurosawa’s family and team on this important endeavor, and will honor the work of the Asian film master by creating a high quality production of one of his last film projects,” he added.