Paramount is mounting a fresh adaptation of manga Lone Wolf And Cub and Justin Lin is set to direct it. Lone Wolf And Cub is a classic manga series created by writer Kazuo Koike, and the story follows a dishonored assassin who must flee with his infant son when his family is murdered. The two then set out on an epic quest for revenge, with father passing down his violent skills to his son.
The series ran for 28 volumes, and a series of six movies were released in Japan between 1972 and 1974. The movies became famous of their slick action and outrageous gore, and the first two movies (Sword Of Vengeance and Baby Cart At The River Styx) were chopped up and re-edited into Shogun Assassin for release in America in 1980. This version added English dubbed voices and a catchy synth soundtrack, and fast became a cult movie of its own; Tarantino made reference to it in Kill Bill: Volume 2.
Now according to a new story by THR, Paramount is teaming up with Lin and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker for a long-gestating remake. Lin is best known for helming parts three to six of the Fast & Furious franchise, in addition to Star Trek Beyond. Interestingly, Darren Aronofsky previously tried to get a version of Lone Wolf And Cub off the ground, but an issue with rights to the story stood in his way.
Lone Wolf And Cub has been an influence on a number of other movies, books, and comics too. The Road To Perdition graphic novel - and its 2002 movie adaption starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman - transplanted the premise to 1930s America, where an assassin seeks revenge against a mob boss while trying to protect his son. It was also an influence on the novel The Road, and Shogun Assassin was clearly a point of reference on Kill Bill; judging by the gore, anyway.
Paramount will no doubt be looking at the movie with an eye to it becoming a franchise. With nearly 9,000 pages worth of material to work from, it shouldn’t be too hard to plan out further sequels. There’s no word yet on potential casting, but given the origin of the source material – and the whitewashing controversy Paramount faced with their previous manga adaptation Ghost in the Shell – it seems likely the studio will be looking to cast either Japanese or Japanese-American actors in the lead roles.
We’ll bring you more information on the Lone Wolf And Cub movie as it becomes available.