Ghost to be remade as Japanese film starring Nanako Matsushima

The title says it all. From Nikkei (sub reqd), we learn that Paramount is doing a co-production with Shochiku to remake Ghost, the 1990 the Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore romance. It will star Japan’s tallest movie star Matsushima Nanako opposite Korean actor Song Seung-heon. NTV is apparently also involved. The US studios are apparently broadening their cultural horizons because their native, English-language content isn’t as popular with Japanese audiences as it used to be. Japan is no doubt a lucrative market for Hollywood since movie tickets cost significantly more here than they do in the US.

Ghost was a pretty sweet movie, so a remake might make for some good viewing. More to the point, I love the idea of remaking classic American films for Japan.

Personally, I want to see a Japanese version of Be Kind Rewind. “Sweded” versions of Seven Samurai, Godzilla, and Audition would be intense.

Or maybe Mr. Baseball, only in reverse? Given how times have changed, the story of an aging Japanese ballplayer getting sent to a small team in the US is probably more common now than the scenario in the original.

20 thoughts on “Ghost to be remade as Japanese film starring Nanako Matsushima”

  1. “Or maybe Mr. Baseball, only in reverse?”

    There are actually a few manga feature young Japanese playing AAA – “Major” and “Giant” are two. There is also the bizarre manga Mr. Baseball like title “Reggie” (obviously about “Mr. October” Reggie Jackson) from the 80s which actually has some interesting stuff (main character dealing with racist cat calls from the stands, etc.). My feeling is that this would probably go over bigger as a film with soccer, however.

    My remake wish list –

    – Cape Fear (dir. and starring Beat Takeshi)
    – Once Upon a Time in Amerca (as a Maruo Suehiro designed animated film)
    – Roger Rabbit (Studio 4C and Yuasa Masaaki)
    – An Oshii Mamoru Bladerunner side story
    – The King of Comedy (with a bunch of popular geinojin, directed by Wakamatsu Koji)
    – Get the right &#%$ing Miyazaki to do Earthsea
    – Get the Yamada Yoji who did Tasogare Seibei (will he please come back) to do a samurai version of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
    – A Miike “A Clockwork Orange”
    – An animated Anno “2001”

  2. I want to see a Japanese remake of “Gung Ho.” Here’s a brief synopsis:

    A Chinese company buys a former Toyota factory in Nagoya and insists on making everything cheaper and more half-assed, so the employees turn into a yakuza battalion led by Beat Takeshi, who ends up becoming friends with the Chinese expat executive (played by Kimutaku in a cheap suit) over a drunken night of miso-katsu and singing Kiroro’s “Mirai e” while arguing over which lyrics are correct. They then impress the Chinese shacho by turning out 10,000 cars which are, ironically, just as crappily made as the cars churned out in the final part of “Gung Ho.” The movie ends with all the Japanese employees wearing wife-beaters and playing mahjongg while drinking booze out of plastic bags.

  3. “NTV is apparently also involved.”

    Say no more.

    Just kidding. The important missing detail for me is the answer to “What song is going to replace The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” as the goofy pottery scene love song?”

    Remakes in my universe:
    I would like to see a reverse double-clutch Japanese remake of “Shall We Dance?” where Richard Gere is still playing the main character, but he’s an ex-pat who’s lived in Tokyo since the bubble era, married a Japanese woman, and currently works as one of the directors of a Tokyo bank. The bank is doing poorly and he has nothing to do, so he starts taking dance lessons in the evenings. The dance instructor is Kusakari Tamiyo from the original movie, and she’s still a standoffish biyotch.

  4. 「死刑台のエレベーター」, due out later this year, is a remake of Louis Malle’s 1957 “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud” (Lift to the Scaffold).

    I’d like to see a faithful Japanese remake of “Trainspotting”, if only to see which setting and accents were chosen. It might need to be a short because I presume everyone would have to be rounded up and arrested in the first 10 minutes or so.

  5. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Japanese “Oldboy” (directed by Kore-eda with Watanabe Ken, faithful to the manga).

    If we’re going to open this up to international film – Wild Strawberries (Nakadai, Kurosawa Kiyoshi).

  6. “I’d like to see a faithful Japanese remake of “Trainspotting”

    That probably would turn out be something with no narcotics and lots of scenes with protagonists actually spotting trains.More like Paul Theroux book instead of Irvine Welsh,but still with lots of violence.

    I’d like to see Japanese remake of “Pearl Harbor”.

  7. I’d like to see Japanese remake of “Pearl Harbor”.

    Ha ha, nice. Who would play Yamamoto Isoroku?

    While we’re at it, we might as call for a remake of “The Cove”.

  8. “Who would play Yamamoto Isoroku?”

    We need high file profile star on that role for the market sales in overseas.
    Jackie Chan,perhaps?

  9. “Have you seen Kyoki no Sakura?”

    Can’t say I have. Then again, given my gnawing sense of insecurity and susceptibility to oneupmanship, I might now feel compelled to say I have even when I haven’t.

    It’s funny you should mention “Old Boy” above. One Korean film I really enjoyed also stars Choi Min-sik and is taken from Japanese source material. “Failan” is based on a book by Jiro Asada and did very little international business. In Japan, it’s known as “Love Letter” which can get a bit confusing. That’s also the name of an earlier Japanese film based on the same book as well as being the title of an unrelated Shunji Iwai film.

    That’s nothing to do with the subject at hand but it’s well worth tracking down. It’s still around in some rental stores in Japan but, if your scruples allow, I see you can also find an English subtitled version online.

    “We might as call for a remake of ‘The Cove’.”

    I was told in a twitter exchange yesterday that there may well be a Japanese group filming and conducting interviews in Taiji and other dolphin/whaling ports with a view to putting the other view.

  10. “I might now feel compelled to say I have even when I haven’t.”

    Not a contest! I mention it because it strikes me as being the closest thing I can think of to a Japanese “Trainspotting” and you might want to check it out. It isn’t a “great” film, but it is one of the most interesting takes on the Japanese far right in the last decade. It certainly deals with violence addiction (which is one of the parts of Trainspotting that stuck with me for some reason).

    “but it’s well worth tracking down”

    Thanks for the recommend (that’s what it is all about) – I’ll certainly check it out.

  11. “a Japanese group filming and conducting interviews in Taiji and other dolphin/whaling ports with a view to putting the other view.”

    I would propose the team to look deeper into the subject.
    None of us are actually interested in what Taiji town folks thinks.What we are interested is what kind of people are spending their time and money into these cult of saving Catacean and waging war against the nation of Japan.
    How about sending some dreamy Japanese OL inside of the Sea Shepherd as a mole and special op team film her with cutting edge surveillance camera or something.

    Hong Kongers are also doing better job in adopting Japanese manga into silverscreen.Like “Initial D”and many of Stephen Chow movies.

  12. “Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Japanese “Oldboy” (directed by Kore-eda with Watanabe Ken, faithful to the manga).”

    I heard it was being remade in Hollywood, but not sure if that’s still happening. Anyway, I can’t see what moving it from Korea to Japan would really do to make it more interesting. Most of the directly relevant cultural background isn’t particularly different between the two countries – even the famous squid-eating scene would have exactly the same impact set in Japan.

    @Aceface: What Stephen Chow movies were based on Japanese manga? His stuff strikes me as very Hong Kong.

  13. “I heard it was being remade in Hollywood, but not sure if that’s still happening.”

    They were talking Will Smith for the lead. I actually think that he has started to grow into his stardom, but he strikes me as being wrong for this. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Benicio del Toro, Robert Downy Jr. there are a bunch of people who could give it a good run. Denzel is another candidate but I have bad memories of him hamming it up in “The Hurricane”. DiCaprio has been hit and miss but he’s a real actor now and could pull it off.

    Last I heard it was dead, however. The Korean side apparently tried to sell rights they didn’t have.

    Don’t want to spoil anything, but the manga doesn’t have the incest plot – that would have been a hurdle in the American market (where I imagine that they may even try to do it PG if they ever do it).

  14. Huh. Well I’ve probably seen about 10 of his movies and I’ve never even heard of that one or the manga it was based on…

  15. 破壊王ノリタカ is more gag series than fighting, it isn’t very interesting and I don’t think that it is still in print.

    Riki-Oh lives on, however. The Hong Kong version of seems to have a strong cult following in North America –

  16. I want to see a Japanese remake of “Taxi” (with Queen Latifah), itself a remake of the French movie of the same name.
    So name is still “タクシー”, but the hero is 92-year old this time. Still, he can control a shit load of gizmos from his keitai (nice skills, grandpa) and helps the police resolve a mama-chari stealing ring. Imagine the car chase…

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