Sometimes remakes are good things. Not the films themselves – most modern remakes have been poor. But when a remake comes out, the original often finds its way to DVD, and often in a very nice edition. That’s why I am excited that Warner Bros is going to be remaking 1975’s The Yakuza – the original isn’t on DVD at all!
The original is notable for being written by Paul Schrader and his brother Leonard, with work by Robert Towne. You don’t get better 70s writing creds than that. The ’75 version had Robert Mitchum trying to find a kidnapped girl in Japan, and his search ended up in sword and gunplay. Hot stuff.
The new version will be modern, and represent a more "multi-ethnic" Japan. Maybe that means Samuel L Jackson’s Afrosamurai will make an appearance.
But in the end, I don’t care about the new version. I just want the original – which I haven’t even seen! – on DVD. Get cracking, Warner Bros!