Third in line since debut directing Death Trance and the recent Shudder release of Re:Born, dynamic action duo Tak Sakaguchi and Yuji Shimomura will be bringing the crazy to North America with their latest feat, Crazy Samurai Musashi.
Well Go USA has acquired the rights to the ambitious period sword thriller, marking Sakaguchi’s first time back to the label since 2011 with the U.S. release of several Japanese genre titles, namely Mutant Girls Squad, Helldriver, Yakuza Weapon and Deadball.
In Crazy Samurai Musashi, Sakaguchi stars as the 17th century samurai of legend, Miyamoto Musashi, who battles more than four hundred warriors in a deadly challenge against the Yoshioka Ryu. Actors Kento Yamazaki, Yosuke Saito, Ben Hiura and Arata Yamanaka also star in the film which is now being sold internationally for this year’s virtual market at the Toronto International Film Festival by sales agent, Princ Films.
Crazy Samurai Musashi has taken quite a while to arise given public announcements made more than a decade ago, with Sakaguchi and auteur Sion Sono then planning on birthing a groundbreaking new action film at the time. (Several years later, Sakaguchi would go on to co-star in Sono’s 2014 action comedy, Why Don’t You Play In Hell?. The two recently completed production with a cast that also lists Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Ed Skrein and Imogen Poots for the new thriller, Prisoners Of The Ghostland).
Atsuki Tomori penned Crazy Samurai Musashi based on Sono’s concept, prior to the 2013 shoot of the film’s major single-take action sequence, which comprises 85% of the film. The few years that followed are a bit of an anomaly with Sakaguchi reportedly announcing retirement that year, which was a shock to many fans of the actor who’ve followed his career for close to twenty years (myself included), which in turn, made the burgeoning teaser announcements back in 2015 for Re:Born all the more bewildering, but satiating. And, even moreso, with Sakaguchi appearing in Shinsuke Sato’s Kingdom, Takahiro Ishihara’s Red Blade, and Yuki Kobayashi’s Rise Of The Machine Girls.
After five years in limbo, Crazy Samurai Musashi finally began showing signs of life when Shimomura teased a first look via Twitter in 2018, prior to crowdfunding efforts to help complete the project by August that year. Shinichi Fujita produced the film, with Takayuki Ota, who partnered with Sakaguchi and Shimomura for the U.S. promotion of Re:Born, emerging as executive producer.
“It took us seven years to complete the film as after the 77-minute one-shot scene was initially filmed, Tak had broken fingers, ribs, and teeth, and couldn’t even grip the sword anymore,” Ota said. ”After buying the rights, we worked on the opening and ending”, reports Screendaily‘s Ben Dalton.
Shimomura is currently paired once again as action director with actor Yamazaki for the current production of Kingdom helmer Sato’s eight-part Netflix series, Alice In Borderland, streaming globally later this year.
Click here to read our review of Crazy Samurai Musashi.