Remakes are hot property these days, with many usually ending up as lesser copies of their predecessor. Well, in some surprising news, comedic legend Mel Brooks' western classic Blazing Saddles is next to receive the remake treatment, but with a pretty substantial twist. The movie is set to be retold in an entirely new medium, and switch genre, for an animated movie entitled Blazing Samurai.
Blazing Samurai will take the set-up of the Mel Brooks classic and transplant it into the Samurai era. But wait, that's not all. The movie will also center on animated animals rather than humans. The story will follow a dog named Hank who dreams of becoming a Samurai. When he becomes in charge of protecting Kakamucho, he learns that the town is populated entirely by cats. Is that enough of a twist for you?
The movie has been on hiatus since 2015 but is now moving forward and is set to be directed by Mark Koetsier in his directorial debut, and produced by animation legend Rob Minkoff, who directed Disney classic The Lion King back in 1994. Koetsier has previously worked on movies such as Kung Fu Panda and Big Hero 6.
Blazing Samurai has amassed quite the voice cast including Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Superbad), Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Endgame), Ricky Gervais (After Life), George Takei (Star Trek), Michelle Yeoh (Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2), Djimon Hounsou (Aquaman) and Blazing Saddles director Mel Brooks.
"We've always been passionate about animation and are thrilled to be taking part in Blazing Samurai," Align co-founder Adrian Politowski said in a statement. "The combination of Rob and Mark as outstanding animation creatives, the industry expertise of Aniventure, GFM Animation and Cinesite delivering amazing production value on screen, assembled around such a hilarious action-packed family script will make Blazing Samurai one of the key animated films of 2021."
Politowski added, "With the arrival of [current circumstances] across Europe and North America, our team came together to shift our strategy to meet the limitations of the new filmmaking landscape. It was a natural step for us to shift our focus to high-end commercial animation projects. Blazing Samurai is the first of more to come."
Though many will hear the words "Blazing Saddles remake" and cry "sacrilege!", the idea behind Blazing Samurai is an interesting one, turning Brooks' biting satire into an allegory about race that will be able to be viewed by audiences of all ages.
Blazing Saddles was a satirical black comedy released in 1974. Directed by Mel Brooks and starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the movie follows Bart, who is appointed the first black sheriff of all-white Rock Ridge by the evil Hedley Lamarr, who hopes this will chase the townspeople from their homes. Blazing Saddles was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg and Alan Uger.
Despite stirring up much controversy over the years, Blazing Saddles is now considered a cinematic comedy classic thanks to its commentary on racism and mixture of cutting and silly humor, and, in 2006, the movie was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. This comes to us courtesy of Deadline.