Universal Pictures announced today that principal photography begins March 14 on 47 Ronin, the new epic 3D fantasy-adventure inspired by ancient Japan's most enduring tale. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors.
47 Ronin is helmed by visionary director Carl Rinsch (The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that's never been seen before.
Joining Reeves in the cast are a who's who of Japanese superstars, including Hiroyuki Sanada (The Twilight Samurai, Sunshine, The Last Samurai) as the clan's chief samurai, Oishi; Kou Shibasaki (The Lady Shogun and Her Men, One Missed Call) as their master's daughter and the love of Kai's life, Mika; Tadanobu Asano (Mongol, Ichi the Killer, upcoming Thor) as the treacherous Lord Kira; and Academy Award-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Norwegian Wood) as the mysterious lady Mizuki who executes Kira's every request in his search for ultimate power.
The film is from writers Chris Morgan (Wanted, Fast Five) and Hossein Amini (upcoming Drive, The Wings of the Dove). Scott Stuber (The Kingdom, upcoming Battleship), Pamela Abdy (Garden State, Man on the Moon) and Eric McLeod (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Tropic Thunder) produce the epic.
Rinsch leads a behind-the-scenes crew comprised of two-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer John Mathieson (Gladiator, Robin Hood); two-time Academy Award-nominated production designer Jan Roelfs (Alexander, Gattaca); editor Craig Wood (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, The Ring); costume designer Penny Rose (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Evita); special effects producer Paul Corbould (Mamma Mia!, The Wolfman); and visual effects producer Garv Thorp (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Your Highness).