‘Immortals’ Director Interested in ‘Samurai Jack’ Movie

Published 3 years ago by

Samrai Jack Movie Tarsem Singh Immortals Director Interested in Samurai Jack Movie

Tarsem Singh’s visually-ambitious Greek sword-and-sandals epic, Immortals (read our review), was number one at the box office this past weekend. Now that the auteur filmmaker has successfully launched his latest opus, and already has buzz building for Mirror, Mirror, his Snow White retelling, talk is already turning to what projects he might lend his unique brand of art-in-motion filmmaking to next.

In a recent interview, Singh starting to drop hints about a project that he would apparently love to get the ball rolling on: a feature-film adaptation of the popular cartoon series, Samurai Jack.

Samurai Jack was a show that ran on Cartoon Network from 2001 – 2004, and was the creation of iconic animation guru Genndy Tartakovsky – the man behind such cult-favorite cartoon series as The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory and Sym-Bionic Titan. The premise of the Emmy Award-winning Samurai Jack was that a samurai from feudal Japan (the titular Jack) is transported through time to a distant dystopian future where his nemesis, the shape-shifting wizard Aku, now rules the world. As a dedicated warrior of the samurai code, Jack travels the future landscape battling Aku’s evil and searching for a way back to his own time, where he can defeat Aku once and for all.  The show won many awards and acclaim for its unique production and character designs, and for generally being a spectacular blend of ancient Japanese philosophy and futuristic sci-fi tropes, with hints of other genres like spaghetti westerns and Kung Fu flicks thrown in for good measure.

Check out a musical montage of Samurai Jack footage to see what we mean:


Clearly the style of the cartoon is something that would be fitting with the visual sensibilities of Tarsem Singh – a fact the director himself openly acknowledged:

“I love Samurai Jack. I would love to direct that. It’s brilliant. The speed, it embraces where it comes from. I find that comic strip films are halfway grounded. They don’t play my chord. But I love Samurai Jack. I love the animation…Have them [Cartoon Network] contact me.”

There have previously been attempts to turn Samurai Jack into a feature film. One version of the project was reportedly set up at New Line in the early 2000s, with Tower Heist director Brett Ratner apparently attached to direct. Shame that one never made it through development (massive sarcasm alert). Then, a few years back, word surfaced that J.J. Abrams was producing a Samurai Jack movie – but nothing has developed since that initial rumor started to circle.

Samurai Jack stood apart from so many other animated shows because it was courageous enough to be smart, deep, and artistic, instead of just being some flashy sci-fi/action cartoon. Many fans of the show will undoubtedly agree that any kind of movie adapted from the material would only be justified if it retained those same crucial elements. To his credit, though, Singh seems like a filmmaker that would at least attempt to make an “authentic” Samurai Jack flick, befitting the style and substance of the source material. But then again, we’re not the ones who need convincing: something tells us that Genndy Tartakovsky wouldn’t sign off on the project unless he himself was confident in the director handling the material – and that Cartoon Network won’t sign off unless they have Tartakovsky’s support.

How about you: would you like to see Tarsem Singh get a chance to make his Samurai Jack movie, or should the show be preserved in its animated form?

Source: THR

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  1. I’d pay to see that.

  2. I’m in. But they’ve got to have the Scotsman in it. He was the best.

  3. HELL YEAH!! I’ve wanted someone to direct this for long time, but someone who knows the series and has the right direction to do the film right. So, let’s see what you have in mind Tarsem Singh.

  4. Jack better be played by a Japanese actor or at least an Asian actor John Cho anyone? (I know his Korean)

    • I agree he has to be Japanese because another other race other than Asian wont work in the least when playing a Samurai

      • The original was played by a black guy

    • Ian Anthony Dale? He looks just like jack and even acts similar.

      • funny note. Jack was voiced by a black guy.

        • Yea I know but I said Dale looks like Jack :P

          • Oh dude! I just went and Googled him and he TOTALLY looks like Samurai Jack! One of the images just had this smolder that said “I’m going to set the timeline straight and then you’ll be hosed, evil wizard from space.”

  5. Please no.
    Get Guy Moshe, who just directed the excellent Bunraku

  6. This would be fantastic! Can this please not just be a rumor?

  7. This would be awesome I love the samurai jack series ,I think it would make a great film if done right.

  8. Haven’t seen immortals yet.. but i would love to see samurai jack movie.. but i don’t know how well it can be done in live action.. I prefer the same team who did the TV series to do a animated samurai jack movie.. That would be morreee subtle

  9. Epic

    • Have you seen The Cell? It disproves your “Amazing” statement

      • Xigbar,

        You have to admit that “The Cell” had style and was visually appealing if anything.

        • If it had Jennifer Lopez in it, how could it be visually appealing?

          Just kidding, but she does annoy me.

        • “The Fall” was amazing, from the visuals to the way Tarsem handles the myths worked into the narrative. The performance he got out of Catinca Untaru, a little Romanian girl who had no acting experience and didn’t speak English was amazing too. Perhaps “The Fall” was a little sappy for some or hard to follow if you’re doing more than watching the movie. Never the less Tarsem is one imaginative, brave soul. I hope he never loses that to the Hollywood machine…

      • the cell was visually amazing you might not have liked the story, however he is great at presenting a story thru a visual medium. Also see The Fall. Another great film.

  10. Make it happen.

  11. I’ve always loved Samurai Jack, but I thought there had been a movie in the works for awhile now based on this show… I think it was called somthing like “Cup of Tears”, I havent heard anything about it in a long time though.

  12. The visuals for this would be dope. Dude who did 13 assasins should do this.

  13. Would much rather see Genndy return with a full length animated film, following the events of the series. God knows if they made a movie it’d just be a retelling of what was already established in the cartoon. Big Screen Animated Samurai Jack PLEASE!!

  14. Please make Jack of Japanese background!!! the DBZ movie was disgusting putting in a guy who was clearly not japanese play the lead character. Or like shamalans last airbender, where it was basically white washed. (none of the actors matching the cartoon counterparts) PLEASE make it correct!!!

  15. AWESOME! :D
    I’ve been a Samurai Jack fan since the moment I first saw it on Cartoon Network. (The show really is as amazing as Kofi describes it).

    I would kill to see a Samurai Jack movie — if they stay close to the source material that is…

    As a fan, I kinda agree with ‘Vonarndt’: instead of retelling the story, they could do a movie about what happened AFTER the series (I do think live-action would would be pretty awesome — it doesn’t need to be animated IMO)…
    – BUT then again, if they do that (a movie about what happened after the events of the series), the general audience wouldn’t know WTF is going on… so I guess the only option is to do the “origin story” of Samurai Jack…
    – BUT then there might be a few problems to sort out: the series was famous for being quite crazy (talking dogs, loads of aliens, weird ape-creatures, robots, massively crazy landscapes and locations, etc.) I’m not sure ALL those things/creatures would translate that well in a live-action film ;) — and if they decide to leave that stuff out, I’m sure a lot of the fans will be quite disappointed.

    So the thing is, while I would LOVE to see a Samurai Jack movie, IMO, it’s going to be a bumpy ride in pre-production if they want to make it “believable” and still stay true to the source material.

    – Just my opinion.

  16. Tadanobu Asano (Hogun from Thor) for Jack.

    • They should get the guy that played agent zero on X.W.O.

  17. I could see Asano playing Jack or maybe even Rain from ninja assassin since he’s adept in martial arts. I just hope hollywood can get it right

  18. Having Samurai Jack be live action seems to me to completely nullify the whole point of Samurai jack.

  19. Yeah I’ll watch that. If it’s live action sure. But I think Tarsem Singh should try directing in animation. Think about it, his great visual and artistic mind would be great for animation. It’ll be like Immortals in a cartoon form.

    • What about cg animation film?

  20. You know looking around on this I don’t understand where Tarsem is going with it? If it could’ve gained traction then why didn’t Tartakovsky do it through Bad Robot? If J.J. couldn’t get it up and running I don’t know how much pull Singh is going to have with Relativity media, (who’s worked financing on around 200 movies and does cater to the demographic this falls in) and bring them to the party? Them, or a combination of one or more companies like them, that was involved in “Immortals.” I suppose Tarsem is hoping they’re listening. Robbie Brenner, are you listening?? :)

  21. Just so long as he makes it animated and that it’s a (happy ending) grand finale and with Tartavosky’s direction.

  22. I love the director, he’s gotta direct the movie. Can’t wait for it!