While there’s no official word from the studio (and there probably won’t be), it appears there’s trouble over in the editing bay for the Keanu Reeves movie, 47 Ronin, with TheWrap reporting that Universal has pulled director Carl Erik Rinsch from the editing room, and the film is now being directly overseen by Universal co-chairwoman, Donna Langley.
Apparently the problems began during shooting, An insider is said to have ‘Described the production process as a “nightmare.”’ While Rinsch has had great success with commercials and short films (such as the The Gift, which went viral and got the director the job on 47 Ronin), it’s said he buckled under the pressure of the ambitious shoot of the $175 million film. After principal photography, the studio demanded extensive reshoots, apparently because they felt Keanu Reeves’ character had been removed from the centre of the movie. With the original shoot, his character wasn’t even present during the film’s climactic battle.
It appears Universal would have liked to remove Rinsch earlier, but due to union rules, they had to allow him to be part of reshoots, but even so tried to micromanage the several rounds of new scenes and shots from half a world away. Those extra scenes, which apparently included capturing key close-ups of Keanus and giving him a battle with a supernatural creature towards the end of the movie, are now complete, and so now Universal can step in directly and take over the movie.
There were rumours of trouble before this, with reports of a ballooning budgets and suspicion looking delays in the release date – it went from autumn 2012 to February 2013 and then to Christmas 2013. Universal said this was to allow more time for special effects, but it undoubtedly looked like there were issues with the movie.
47 Ronin is based on a screenplay by Chris Morgan (Fast Five) and Hossein Amini (Drive), and tells the story of a band of samurai in the 18th century who wish to avenge the death of their master – with plenty of supernatural action thrown in.