Here’s one movie where I’m sort of praying to be swallowed by Development Hell: 300 producer Gianni Nunnari has hired Sylvain White to direct an adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel Ronin. Ronin is not about car chases – rather it’s set in a near future dystopian New York where a masterless samurai from feudal Japan is reborn to battle his demonic enemy. And if you don’t know who Sylvain is, join the club – turns out he’s the mastermind behind Stomp the Yard and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer. That’s the one that went straight to video, by the way.
Look, I’m all about giving people chances, and cinematic history is filled with people who come off of seemingly terrible films to make greatness. But the problem here that Ronin just isn’t one of Miller’s classic works, and I think it’ll very easily turn into a hyper-geek mishmash of eight generation copies of Blade Runner and bad samurai manga. Which is sort of what the comic is (am I going to get crucified for this? The book was very impressive in its time).
At one point Darren Aronofsky was attached to Ronin, and that would have been an interesting take on the material, if just because Aronofsky isn’t going to pander to trailer shots and an opening weekend audience. Then again, I’m even excited about Aronofsky doing a ballet movie, so you know I have no objectivity in this matter.
Blackfilm.com called White and got some very limited information from him about the movie-to-be: “The idea will be to stay close to the graphic novel. Ronin is very dense and very long so of course we are going to have to streamline the story to fit it within a movie time frame.” He’s also polishing a script and a visual presentation; Warner Bros has the first look at whatever he comes up with.
I want nothing more than to be surprised by how brilliant this thing turns out, but I have to remain skeptical for the time being.