The first images have been released for upcoming animated martial arts adventure Blazing Samurai. The animated comedy is a family-oriented "remake" of Mel Brooks' classic 1974 movie Blazing Saddles and has enlisted an all-star 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 even Blazing Saddles director Mel Brooks himself. STXfilms' Blazing Samurai will take the set-up of Brooks' classic and transplant it into the Samurai era. Oh yeah, and instead of humans the story will center on dogs and cats.
The first image shows the pooch protagonist, Hank, being put through his samurai paces in what is sure to be one of many training sequences, with the second depicting an adorable cartoon kitten with a sword in hand and look of death in her eyes.
Blazing Samurai will follow the story of Hank (Michael Cera), a loveable mutt with big dreams of becoming a samurai. When he finds himself with a new job as sheriff of Kakamucho, he also finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew given the town is inhabited solely by cats.
On his journey, Hank meets the nefarious warlord Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais), who hustles an unwitting Hank into becoming the samurai for the cat-inhabited town. Thankfully, Hank meets Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson), a once great cat samurai who reluctantly agrees to take Hank under his wing and teaches him what being a samurai really means. Forging the first real friendship between a cat and a dog, the two set off on a journey to save the town of Kakamucho from the evil warlord, with Hank hopefully learning what it means to become a true samurai along the way.
Directed by Chris Bailey and written by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper, Blazing Samurai is being produced by Rob Minkoff, the director of Disney classic The Lion King, who described the Blazing Saddles remake as "a freewheeling mash-up of East and West. An action-packed comedy featuring incredible performances from our stellar cast of hilarious characters, it also delivers a great message of inclusion and acceptance. It's sure to be a treat the whole family can enjoy."
Fellow Producer Guy Collins added, "Seeing 'Blazing Samurai' come together has been a huge boost in these COVID-impacted times. This was always an ambitious independent animated movie yet the combination of the production, creative and CG animation teams has been seamless and that shines through in the showreel. Having such outstanding animation creatives, Rob Minkoff and Mark Koetsier guiding production and working with the Cinesite team means that what we're seeing on screen is truly world class."
Blazing Samurai is a project that has been in the pipeline for years and was initially scheduled to be released back in 2017, before being moved to 2018, before eventually being delayed indefinitely. after all this time the movie has finally come together and will now be able to spread its message of teaching kids and adults alike that embracing diversity is what truly makes you a hero. Blazing Samurai does not yet have an exact release date but should hopefully hit screen sometime in 2021. This comes to us courtesy of Variety.