’47 Ronin’ Goes Overbudget; Carl Rinsch Removed as Director

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:25 pm,

47 ronin director 47 Ronin Goes Overbudget; Carl Rinsch Removed as Director

We’ve been wary about Keanu Reeves’ 3D Samurai epic 47 Ronin since the film was pushed back from a planned launch date around this Thanksgiving – to slow-going February next year and then, back even further to Christmas 2013. The big-budget production marks the directorial debut of commercial helmer (and Ridley Scott protege) Carl Rinsch, so it’s long been expected that his transition to feature-length filmmaking might be bumpy.

However, trade insiders are reporting that Rinsch has bitten off more than he can chew – enough so for Universal to remove him as the director overseeing the venture. Scroll on down for the dismal details.

The Wrap has it on good authority that Universal co-chariwoman Donna Langley, not Rinsch, is overseeing post-production on 47 Ronin. Studio heads could not pull him earlier, even though Rinsch “struggled to control the filmmaking process” throughout principal photography, as the Directors Guild of America requires that a helmer who completes primary production must be allowed to oversee reshoots. Universal has apparently been micro-managing the London-based pickup filming, but pulled Rinsch entirely once editing got underway.

One of the problems that led to Rinsch being pushed aside is that Reeves – who plays a scarred warrior named Kai whose mixed heritage makes him an outcast in Japanese society – is meant to be the focus of the film, but ended up marginalized in a rough cut. Moreover, Rinsch apparently failed to capture the necessary footage to establish that Kai is a participant in the film’s climactic battle (!), which had to be corrected during reshoots.

Several additional scenes were shot to further beef up Reeves’ presence, including a fight with an unspecified supernatural creature and a love scene; as a result, the original $175 million budget has reportedly climbed to $225 million. An unidentified Universal executive is disputing this claim – take (or leave) that for what it’s worth.

Reeves and the ’47 Ronin’ are in trouble

What’s all the more disappointing about this 47 Ronin mess is that the project has a lot going for it, what with Reeves tackling the stoic action hero role he does best in, a re-telling of a treasured Asian legend of honor and sacrifice, brought to life using the best-available filmmaking technology, as well as beautiful costume work and a solid Japanese supporting cast. The project is also an opportunity for Rinsch to establish himself as a premium filmmaker.

Still, after a production process as sloppy and troubled as that for 47 Ronin, it’s difficult to envision Universal pulling things together to create a final product that’s worth every extra penny and hour spent making it. None of this will matter if the final film does prove to be a grand spectacle that draws in the masses, so who knows – maybe the hellish experience behind this movie will ultimately translate into powerful cinematic art (… maybe).

More on 47 Ronin as the story develops.


Source: The Wrap

TAGS: 47 ronin
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  1. What kind of love scene is this that it helped push the budget over $50 million!?!?!?!?!?!

    • The greatest scene ever filmed. Or not. Lol paying every actor and crew extra, re aquiring studios/sets/locations etc hard to say, but the very idea of having to redo the climactic battle sounds almost insane to me. Just imagine the extras, the set damage etc that must all be recreated to match the original shoot. Pickups are common and films/directors/producers plan for it, this however almost makes it sound like they had to shoot half a movie. My question really is was there a complete shooting script? For a fist timer on a big budget movie where were were the producers ensuring the vision was being carried out properly. Seems like alot of people dropped the ball on that one.

  2. HA! That’s what Universal gets for not hiring a real director. This movie is gonna be horrible if they have to shoot it around some flunky director wannabe’s shoots.

    • If new directors don’t get a chance/their big break, then who do you suppose will make movies in 40-50 years?
      As much as this guy screwed up, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a flunky.

      • I don’t think it’s even unusual for studios to hire commercial directors. If I’m not mistake, Snow White and the Huntsman and Tron Legacy both had commercial directors. I’m sure there’s plenty more but I forgot who. Universal probably could have done more to help Rinsch in the directing process to not get so overwhelmed with making a big budget flick.

        • Yeah and they both suck. Its risky hiring a commercial director for his first featured film with a huge movie that cost well over $100 million. Neil Bloom was only given $40 million to show case his talent. Result District 9.

          Stop giving unproven directors the helm of these awesome movies! Ronin sounded awesome and would of made boat loads if don’t right but Noe it will likely suck.

      • You have to learn to walk before youmrun.

        Hiring first-time directors for blockbuster Hollywood movies with budgets of $150M is crazy.

        Let them cut their teeth on small movies and work their way up.

    • Define “real” director? His shorts were great, and studio politics were likely a greater reason for the ultimate demise of this film. Why they gave a first timer a budget of $175M+ is beyond me, but the man is clearly a real director.

  3. Hmmm. Wait, let me get this right. “47 Ronin” was shot on a digital camera that captures 50% of the image information of (the lowest resolution) 35mm film ? They paid $200 million for half of the image information.

    Exploding production costs. Pushing the release dates. Not enough coverage on Keanu’s scenes. Production schedules that went way over the designated shoot days. What happened to all of those cost savings and time savings we were supposed to achieve from shooting digital ? Time for the promise makers to deliver on their promises. These were all problems that were supposed to disappear due to the new digital nirvana the sheeple have signed on to.

    The director comes from the undisciplined world of digi acquisition. Yes, but the cost savings and time savings were supposed to compensate for any gross incompetence of this kind. Digi didn’t save the day.

    The music industry had their digital revolution in the early 1980′s. Lots of promises. The great “democratization” of music was coming. Everyone rushed head long into this brave new digi world. What’s the music look like 30 years later? It’s a smoking ash heap. Those promise makers back then, also did not deliver on their promises.

    Are we the new suckers ? Will the movie and tv industry be a smoldering ash heap, like the music industry is today? “47 Ronin” has so many tell tale signs of the sheeple in the movie industry being manipulated by the marketing jugernauts trying to sell digi cams to the industry.

    • What the hell, I saw this exact same comment on other sites. I think I smell a troll.

  4. They probably give Carl Rinsch an opportunity because he was a Ridley Scott protégé more so then what he had with his short films and commercial work.

    So maybe they gambled that at his best (like Scott) he would have made a movie that would have developed a cult following and instantly be considered a classic by fans around the world.

    If that was the case then obviously they should have considered the worst (like Scott) that the film would be late, need reshoots, have an increasing budget and that his vision of the movie would not match that of the studios. They should not be surprised.

  5. Im not sure if this a director’s area or the studio micro-managing. Maybe the film is better with Reeves character not being the main focus but instead the mission at hand. Goes along with the samurai culture. The Mission >>Your life.

    • I was thinking the same thing about Reeves’ role being cut down, but the fact that he went over budget so much and the movie’s been delayed so many times, I think it’s just down to the director who couldn’t handle such a big movie.

      Guess we’ll never know… or we’ll end up knowing very soon when a classic Hollywood-fight breaks out ;)

  6. Hey once we get Man Of Tai Chi on time I won’t feel too bummed about this.

  7. The problem was the script! The Keanu character was hardly in it to begin with. They were stupid for even making the film and thinking he was going to be a typical lead. His character was practically supporting in an ensemble cast. WTF where they expect?

  8. Holy crapola! How the hell do you even spend 175 mil on a primarily NON CGI movie, let alone another 50 mil?!

    Maybe spending that 50 million on real period armor and samurai swords wasn’t the best idea after all ;)

  9. The “two months of additional photography” for WWZ came from a tabloid and spread to the rest of the press. They even had Brad Pitt doing those re-shoots 3 months ago, which also was not true.

    In a WWZ forum someone posted tweets from a Brad Pitt stand-in called Phill Ball months before the news about the re-shoots started. In his tweets he was saying that they still had some shooting to do because they never shoot the ending.
    What Matthew Fox said a few days ago is confirming the stand-in tweets.

  10. what happened to proof reading and editors?
    “a helmer who completes primary production much be allowed to oversee reshoots” much be allowed…who reads these first??.

    • My apologies for missing that, it’s been corrected.

  11. The trailer doesn’t look that great anyways. They better have blown the money on hookers and blow if this movie ends up a dud.