News out of Deadline Taipei City says that Kamala Films has acquired the rights to Kazuo Koike’s beloved manga series “Lone Wolf and Cub.” They’ve hired screenwriting duo David and Janet Peoples (Bladerunner, Unforgiven) to adapt the story into a screenplay, and they’ve attached Fast Five director Justin Lin to helm. Call me crazy, but that sounds like a great start.
The Peoples have writing credits on quite a few exceptional films, and Justin Lin, well I don’t know much about him other than his Fast and the Furious work, but he at least made a big, loud, and fun heist movie with Fast Five. And he seems to be excited to get the opportunity to work with such a well-established creative team. When asked about the project he said, “I’ve long admired the Peoples and their enduring body of work. They’re a wonderful match for Lone Wolf and Cub and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with them on this powerful, epic tale.”
What exactly are the details on this supposedly epic tale? Koike’s series of books tell the story of Ogami Itto, who was an elite executioner to the Shogun before being framed for a crime and driven out of his position by a rival clan (who also murder his wife, for good measure). Without a purpose or a home, Itto and his young son Daigoro are forced to wander the Japanese countryside, finding work where they can as assassins for hire. It’s kind of like a feudal Japanese mash-up of Three Men and a Baby and The A-Team.
Given the reputation that the source material holds among fans of manga, and the Peoples’ experience world-building and telling brutal, period stories, it’s looking like Lone Wolf and Cub will be a project to watch. Whether or not Lin can reconjure the magic of Fast Five with swords and martial arts instead of fast cars and bulging muscles remains to be seen, but isn’t that the fun of following a filmmaker’s career? Let’s see how many tricks this guy has up his sleeves.