Monday, November 20, 2006

"Django", not Jango

Sanspo have more details on Miike's "Sukiyaki Western: Django" this morning, as well as a picture of the cast in costume.

It's a homage to one of Miike's favorite films, the 1966 Italian-Spanish co-production "Django" directed by Sergio Corbucci, mixed with the tale of the Genpei Wars. The Minamoto and Taira gangs face off in a town named Yuda, while a deadly gunman (Ito Hideaki) comes to the aid of the townsfolk.

Ito admitted his uncertainty about taking the role. "I love westerns, but as for English, twirling guns and riding horses... I didn't know what to do. But once I gave it a try it was fun, and now I'd like to do a sequel as well."

A Hollywood voice coach was brought in to give the cast two months of training, on top of their horse riding and gun handling lesssons. Shooting is currently underway at a 150 million yen outdoor set of the town, built near the base of Mt. Gassan in northern Yamagata's Tsuruoka City.

Miike travelled to the U.S. to ask Quentin Tarantino to appear in the film. "He's a guy who doesn't play by Hollywood rules, so I thought he'd suit this film. I was in his 'Hostel' too". The "Kill Bill" director will arrive in Japan later this month and film his part at a studio in Tokyo. He plays a mysterious dude by the name of Ringo who appears at the beginning of the movie and fights with an unnamed Japanese cast member, who plays the lover of a female assassin disguised as a town dweller, to be portrayed by Momoi Kaori. "In the States he's not acting anymore, but he said he'd take this film seriously and is preparing for the role."

Kitajima Saburo be singing an Enka version of the theme to "Django" in Japanese, which Miike thought would be ideal for presenting the film overseas.

Filming is set to wrap in early December, and the finished product should open in Japan next Autumn. (source: Sanspo)

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