A wise dude once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” But in Hollywood, the saying goes “If at first you don’t succeed, produce.” And that is exactly what the Wachowski Brothers are doing with their next venture, Ninja Assassin. After the debacle that was Speed Racer, one of the year’s first real financial blunders, they are looking to director James McTeigue, with whom they worked on V for Vendetta, to deliver some kickass ninja action the likes of which we have not seen since well, minute 145 of Speed Racer. Ok, just kidding.. This one sounds like a little bit of fun, so I will lay off of the Speed Racer comments for a moment.
Ninja Assassin follows Raizo (played by pop star turned Car-fu driver Rain), on of the deadliest assassins in the world. And, he’s a ninja. Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. But haunted by the merciless execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them… and vanishes. Now he waits, preparing to exact his revenge.
And did I mention the ninja part?
The production got underway this week, according to a release from Warner Brothers, who will be producing the film along with Legendary Pictures — the company behind the most recent Batman franchise and Zack Snyder’s 300 — and Dark Castle Entertainment — who produced Gothika, The Reaping and House of Wax. Ultimately, the Legendary/Dark House involvement balances out, as one company has made some awesome flicks, while the other has delivered absolute shit year after year.
The Wachowskis will produce alongside uber-producer Joel Silver. The rest of the cast will consist of Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), Ben Miles (V for Vendetta) and Rick Yune (Die Another Day).
Overall, the recent history of the Wachowskis should tell us that this will be an overstylized, overblown love letter to extreme camera movement, but credit must be paid to James McTeigue, who aptly handled V for Vendetta, in my opinion, without getting too wild. As for pop star Rain in the lead — lets just hope that he can deliver on a level that is a little higher than in Speed Racer, as his character there was a little flat. Either way, I am excited about any movie that includes a ninja — ’nuff said.
Ninja Assassin is shooting for a release date that is sometime in the future.