- 47 RONIN
Universal Pictures has reportedly seized control of their troubled sci-fi film 47 Ronin from director Carl Rinsch, a commercials veteran who was making his feature filmmaking debut on the Keanu Reeves starter. The film has already had its release date shifted a few times; its debut is currently slated for December 2013.
A week of reshoots in England was recently completed to include more key scenes with Reeves after the studio was displeased with how the film was coming together. TheWrap claims the budget on the 3D movie has now swelled to $225 million, but a studio exec disputed the figure saying the budget remains at its original $175 million price tag.
Universal couldn't simply fire Rinsch due to Directors Guild rules, but once he completed reshoots they were able to dismiss him and have Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley take over the movie, including its final cut.
"Marginalized in the initial sequences was Reeves, the lone actor well-known in the U.S. Universal opted to reshoot a major fight scene near the end of the film, as well as a few other scenes to sharpen the focus on Reeves' character Kai," according to TheWrap. "Kai was not even present in the final battle scene, whereas the new scene pits Kai against a supernatural creature. ... In addition, the studio added a love scene, close-ups and individual lines to boost Reeves' presence."
The site adds that the studio, still reeling from the failure of this summer's sci-fi epic Battleship, has also cut costs by only moving forward on visual effects sequences they knew would make the final cut.
47 Ronin would reportedly have to gross at least $500 million worldwide to break even after production and marketing costs. As Keanu would say, whoa.