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Ghost Of Tsushima director wants entire movie's cast and language to be Japanese

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Ghost Of Tsushima director wants entire movie's cast and language to be Japanese


The director for the Ghost of Tsushima movie adaptation has revealed he wants both the cast and language used in the film to be Japanese.

Chad Stahelski, who is also known for his work on John Wick: Chapter 4, is taking the reins for the adaptation of the action-adventure game which quickly became one of the fastest-selling titles when it was released for PlayStation 4 in 2020.

The game itself is based on the work of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, and allows players to control a samurai named Jin Sakai on a quest to protect Tsushima Island during the first Mongol invasion of Japan.

After news of the film adaptation was announced earlier this year, the director spoke to Collider about his plans for the movie and about how Kurosawa's work has impacted his life.

Discussing why he wanted to take on the project, which he's 'super excited about', Stahelski said: "Honestly, it's probably the same things that would scare the sh*t out of most people. It's a fantasy period piece. It's done with reverence to Akira Kurosawa, who's probably in the top five biggest influences of my life as far as film goes. It's a chance to push technology and people in a story that's timeless.

"It's your typical mythological story of good versus evil, finding a man, watching him change the world or the world changes him. It's all the Joseph Campbell stuff that you'd love in a story. You put that in with, obviously, so I'm told I have a bit of a Samurai fetish, which is probably true from Manga and anime and stuff."

The director expressed his hopes that if the creators do it 'right', the film would be 'visually stunning'. He noted it offers opportunity for 'great action' and 'great looks', and said they would try to do it 'all in character'.

Ghost of Tsushima was released on PS4 in 2020. Credit: Sucker Punch Productions


He continued: "Meaning, it's a Japanese thing about the Mongols invading Tsushima island. A complete Japanese cast, in Japanese. Sony is so on board with backing us on that. I've been going to Japan since I was 16. I have a love of the country, love of the people, love of the language. To try to direct not only in my language, but someone else's and culturally shift my mindset to bring apart that in a cool way that still entices a Western audience."

Though having to read subtitles might put some people off watching the film, Stahelski believes there is a 'way to direct actors' that will allow the audience to understand them without having to speak the same language.

"There's a way to do it. Where a look can mean a look which can mean a look, which mean there are a lot of ways to do it," he said.

The director said he's 'banking' on people showing up to theatres, believing that if he 'nail' the other aspects of the film he can inspire audiences enough to 'get in the car and go to the theatre'.

Sony has yet to reveal many specific details about the movie adaptation, but it's clear Stahelski has big plans.
 

nowhat

Member
I'd expect nothing less from a game that proudly displays its Akira Kurosawa inspirations on its sleeve.

Shoot it in black and white. I dare you.

akira kurosawa GIF by Maudit
You don't understand how this works, that's for the director's cut release later on.

(and Kurosawa made quite a few colour films as well - check out Ran for some really, truly, epic samurai action with 0% CGI)
 
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Shifty

Gold Member
You don't understand how this works, that's for the director's cut release later on.

(and Kurosawa made quite a few colour films as well - check out Ran for some really, truly, epic samurai action with 0% CGI)
How could you crush a man's idealism like that :messenger_anguished:

Ta for the rec though - if Yojimbo, Sanjuro and Seven Samurai are anything to go by, that'll be a top watch.
 

tommib

Gold Member
I'd expect nothing less from a game that proudly displays its Akira Kurosawa inspirations on its sleeve.

Shoot it in black and white. I dare you.

akira kurosawa GIF by Maudit
I don’t even know if Hollywood knows how to shoot black and white anymore. Maybe the cinematographer that worked on Mank?
 

nowhat

Member
How could you crush a man's idealism like that :messenger_anguished:

Ta for the rec though - if Yojimbo, Sanjuro and Seven Samurai are anything to go by, that'll be a top watch.
Oh you're in for a treat. Think some large scale battles like in the LOTR films, but with actual people wearing real armor instead of CGI dummies. Some of the wide shots are just incredible.
 
This is by far the most weeb thing to do, which will ultimately make for a less successful film. Get a Japanese director and produce it in collaboration with a Japanese studio if you feel so passionately about “keeping it real”. Otherwise this is just Avatar the last airbender: an American production masquerading as Japanese.
 
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Doom85

Member
All Japanese cast (at least for the major actors, they could probably be more lenient on extras in the background). Yeah, that’s possible.

The whole cast speaking Japanese the entire film? Err…..

Morgan Freeman Good Luck GIF


I remember hearing countless horror stories from theater employees when Pan’s Labyrinth released. People coming back to the ticket booth and being all, “what is this crap, we have to read the film?! Why isn’t this in English, this is America!”
”Well, sir, the film is set in Spai-“
”AMERICA!!!”

Now the film still did well in spite of these dumbass motherfuckers, but the film’s budget was pretty modest. A film like Ghost of Tsushima though will have a much bigger budget and I doubt any studio is going to be willing to make that big a financial risk.

And no, generally people have not become more open minded about subtitles since then. Netflix reported 78% of their viewers watched the series Dark dubbed versus the original German version.

Awkward Oh No GIF by CBC
 
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El Sueño

Member
I love when games and movies repect the languaje of their characters are supposed to have. It gives a lot of immersion. I would not like to see The Life of Others in english or spanish.,they are in germany they have to talk in german.
 
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Subtitles distract from the movie.

Yup, they do. I have the same argument for games.

People make that argument for games made in Japan, even if the characters aren't actually Japanese.

The characters are supposed to understand the language being spoken. If you don't understand the language being spoken without subtitles, you aren't getting the "true" experience.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
The Kurosawa mode looked very striking and while I could see it being great for a replay I wouldn't recommend it for first play through, a lot of why I thought the game looked so good was the way colour was used. I tried to play in Japanese but then I couldn't follow the dialogue when they spoke while I was fighting, which seemed to happen more often than I thought it would, if it was just a few times then I'd take the hit but I felt like I was missing out on too much so I went back to english. I'm sure if you filmed the eyes of long time gamers you'll see their eyes flick crazily around between HUD elements and other parts of the screen, its just how it has to be if you want to keep track of everything, but even with that I couldn't control the game, looking at the enemies/environments, glance to the HUD AND read the subtitles properly all at once, thats just too much.

Maybe I should've perservered but it was killing my enjoyment of the game after 30 mins or so so I went back, because I didn't find the japanese voices to be that much better than the english one anyway.

This is probably not a great idea given its meant to appeal to a wide audience, you just have to accept that most people don't want to read subtitles, I personally think its rubbish to not at least try to learn but thats the world we live in, just kidding yourself to go against it really. Maybe it'll change in the future and people become more open to it but not now unfort.

I do empathisise with the notion that subtitles distract, I got used to reading fast and flicking my eyes back and forth when I started watching a lot more anime in the early 2000s but its undeniably more fun when I can rewatch Evangelion now and just focus on the imagery (ironic when a lot of the time nothing is moving because they had no money lmao) while skimming the subtitles to remember whats going on. If you start trying to read subtitles and take everything in at the same time you have to accept it going to be difficult at first.
 

kiphalfton

Gold Member
This is by far the most weeb thing to do, which will ultimately make for a less successful film. Get a Japanese director and produce it in collaboration with a Japanese studio if you feel so passionately about “keeping it real”. Otherwise this is just Avatar the last airbender: an American production masquerading as Japanese.

"Weeb"

Get off the internet for awhile bud.
 

Matsuchezz

Member
All Japanese cast (at least for the major actors, they could probably be more lenient on extras in the background). Yeah, that’s possible.

The whole cast speaking Japanese the entire film? Err…..

Morgan Freeman Good Luck GIF


I remember hearing countless horror stories from theater employees when Pan’s Labyrinth released. People coming back to the ticket booth and being all, “what is this crap, we have to read the film?! Why isn’t this in English, this is America!”
”Well, sir, the film is set in Spai-“
”AMERICA!!!”

Now the film still did well in spite of these dumbass motherfuckers, but the film’s budget was pretty modest. A film like Ghost of Tsushima though will have a much bigger budget and I doubt any studio is going to be willing to make that big a financial risk.

And no, generally people have not become more open minded about subtitles since then. Netflix reported 78% of their viewers watched the series Dark dubbed versus the original German version.

Awkward Oh No GIF by CBC
Pan's Labyrinth acting is superb. I cannot imagine a dubbed version of that movie. I usually do not like Spanish dubbing for other stuff because it is funny and horrendous at the same time. Actors are really good. Dubbing actors suck! IMHO.
 

AJUMP23

Gold Member
Well the Khan should probably be Mongolian. They could get that guy from Dr Strange, I bet he could play a good villain.


I want a dub where the words and the mouths don't match.
 

metaverse

Member
All Japanese cast (at least for the major actors, they could probably be more lenient on extras in the background). Yeah, that’s possible.

The whole cast speaking Japanese the entire film? Err…..

Morgan Freeman Good Luck GIF


I remember hearing countless horror stories from theater employees when Pan’s Labyrinth released. People coming back to the ticket booth and being all, “what is this crap, we have to read the film?! Why isn’t this in English, this is America!”
”Well, sir, the film is set in Spai-“
”AMERICA!!!”

Now the film still did well in spite of these dumbass motherfuckers, but the film’s budget was pretty modest. A film like Ghost of Tsushima though will have a much bigger budget and I doubt any studio is going to be willing to make that big a financial risk.

And no, generally people have not become more open minded about subtitles since then. Netflix reported 78% of their viewers watched the series Dark dubbed versus the original German version.

Awkward Oh No GIF by CBC

Disagree. I think people are lot more receptable given that your example is from over 15 years ago. I would be curious to see the data on Squid Games on dubbed vs subbed. I would garner more people watched it subbed.
 
Joe Dirt 2 Fan GIF


English, breh. Video game adaptations have struggled enough as it is, and let's face it this ain't going to be in the same league as a Kurosawa film.
 
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