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Antoine Fuqua on Keeping the ‘DNA’ of Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ in ‘The Magnificent Seven’ Remake.

By Flora  /  22 Sep 2016 (Thursday)

Antoine Fuqua was just in his early teenage years when he was introduced to the different genres of movies including his first brush with the original ‘The Magnificent Seven’ directed by John Sturges and starred Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, and Horst Buchholz. But it was Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film 'Seven Samurai'  that spurred him to do remake. (Ed note: Sturges' The Magnificent Seven' is a remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai)

Fast forward to 2016, the reboot of the Western movie of the same name is not only action-packed, it features a star-studded and diverse cast such as Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington and Korean star Lee Byung-Hun.

“When I saw Seven Samurai it kind of blew me away,” said the director at a media conference in Singapore in June as part of the Sony Summit held at the Marina Bay Sands, together with Ghostbusters and Inferno.

“The movie introduced me to another world that I wanted to experience. Watching how Kurosawa crafted the story and the compositions and the action for the final battle left an indelible picture in my mind… It transformed my thinking and it was just amazing. Kurosawa made me want to make movies,” he added.


Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

(Watch the trailer of Fuqua's 'The Magnificent Seven'!)

The reboot stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier and opens in theatres this week. The film tells a story during the 1870s where seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.

“Kurosawa films are classic because the DNA of the story still remains the same: Tyranny needs to be fought by good people. That was always the story of Kurosawa,” he explained, when asked about his decision to only release it now. 

Director of Venice Film festival Alberto Barbera, actor Chris Pratt, director Antoine Fuqua, producer Gary Barber, actor Denzel Washington and President of Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta at the 'The Magnificent Seven’ premiere during the 73rd Venice Film Festival (Photo Credit: The Magnificent Seven' Facebook)

Director of other acclaimed films like ‘The Equalizer’ and ‘Training Day’, said: “There’s always the burning question of the samurais sacrificing themselves for the greater good. And at any one point of time when you tell that story, it’s going to be relevant. In today’s society when we see the news, it is more relevant than ever. People have to step forward to do the right thing.” 

“I never tried to take something to so-called ‘update’ it. I tried to tell a story and put my own stand on the storyboard, but most important for me is to keep the DNA of Kurosawa’s story in it and not stray too far from the idea…In my own aesthetics and the way I shot it, things like that, it brings own contemporary feel to it. But that’s as far as I went."

"I wanted to make it true to the genre," shared Fuqua.

The Magnificent Seven opens InCinemas 22 Sep 2016!
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