Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I'm still a fan of Christophe Gans. He seemed to lose a lot of his street cred with the fans after SILENT HILL, which I think has some serious troubles near the end of the movie (and a bad decision to apply a CG layer to some of the live-action creature effects that looked ten times more scary without it on the DVD docs), but overall it was exactly the tone, creepiness and gore I was hoping for. I was greatly looking forward to his take on ONIMUSHA, but apparently that's hit some troubles. There's a detailed accounting below by someone in the know and also a look at at Mr. Gans is currently working on. You French readers can take a look at this story which, I'm told by Calistri below, was sourced by him also. Enjoy!
Onimusha is postponed for a long time. Which is really sad because the shooting was about to begin in June in China. The pre-production was over : 3D previz, storyboards, casting, sfx preparation, locations, stage designs... The casting was about to be revealed : Takeshi Kaneshiro, of course, but also Tsuyoshi Ihara (Letters from Iwo Jima), Satomi Ishihara and Emilie de Ravin (Claire in Lost). The film was ready to shoot. So, what happened ? Believe it or not, the first reason is linked to the tragic death of Heath Ledger on January 22th. Like everybody knows, Ledger was working on the new Terry Gilliam movie, which is produced by independent french producer Samuel Hadida (Resident Evil, Domino, Silent Hill, The Perfume, True Romance... and Onimusha !). The shooting of Dr Parnassus was stopped which forced Hadida to push back Onimusha a first time. But very soon the schedule of Takeshi Kaneshiro didn't matched anymore with the new shooting dates of Onimusha, because - as many asian actors - he shoots as many movies he can each year... and so was for the japanese cast of the movie. It was maybe possible to find another solution, another shooting dates for all the asian actors and Emily de Ravin, but there was still a problem for the casting of the second leading part of the movie, Jacob, which was american : the upcoming actors strike in June which is still not resolved ! All those problems put together leaded to one choice : Onimusha's shooting is postponed to an unknown date. Now what about Christophe Gans ? He's not the type of guy doing nothing between projects and his work on Onimusha is over until there's new shooting dates. He's still not involved in Silent Hill 2 as a director (we shall hear about this movie very soon...). We just learned he's moving on a new project, a european one this time (Onimusha is part financed by Hollywood - like Silent Hill), produced by Thomas Langman (Renegade, Astérix) and shot in French language. It's the adaptation of Leo Perutz famous book "The Swedish Cavalier", which tell the story in the 16th century in middle Europe of a thief trying to steal the girl and the fortune of a gentleman... with the help of the Devil himself!!! It's a very thrilling story, the book is known as a masterpiece of suspense. It's action, adventure style... It's very close to what Christophe Gans like. With a little exaggeration from myself, it feels like Brotherhood of the Wolves meets Silent Hill. The preproduction is just about to begin. This movie being shot most entirely under snow, the shooting will take place this winter 2008/2009. We can imagine the release in France (and maybe internationaly) around the end of 2009. So we can imagine Onimusha won't be shot until the beginning of 2010 and released before 2011.... in the best case ! Best Regards, Arnaud Calistri