Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa though having died back in 1998 is still regarded as one of cinema’s greatest directors with films like Ran, Rashomon, Throne of Blood and of course The Seven Samurai. Well now despite him having been gone for over 20 years it seems we’re going to get an Akira Kurosawa film…….sort of. The screenplay by Nobel & Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of The Day) is an English-language adaptation of the 1952 classic Ikiru, written by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni and the film will be titled, ‘Living’.
In London 1952, Williams, a veteran civil servant, has become a small cog in the bureaucracy of rebuilding post-WWII England. As endless paperwork piles up on his desk, he learns he has a fatal illness. Thus begins his quest to find some meaning to his seemingly grey, monotonous life before it slips away. He first attempts, with limited success, to throw himself into debauchery during a wild night in Brighton in the company of a bohemian writer he befriends there. Then, arriving back in London, he ignores family and work responsibilities for days on end. But soon he becomes intrigued by Margaret, a young co-worker in his office, who appears to exemplify exactly what life and living is – and what may so far have passed him by. As their friendship grows, she – inadvertently – shows him a way to face down his mortality; how to harness his years of experience and dedication into a final supreme effort to push through, against all odds, a modest, much-delayed project for children in a poor district of East London. This last generous act rewards Williams with a revelatory understanding of the joys and meaning of living.
The film will star BAFTA® and Golden Globe® Award winner Bill Nighy (Emma) and rising star Aimee Lou Wood for director Oliver Hermanus.
“The notion of teaming Japan’s greatest internationally renowned filmmaker, Kurosawa, with their greatest living author, Ishiguro, coupled with the tremendously talented Oliver Hermanus, is a producer’s dream. This is a film about how a small act can become a momentous event, and Bill Nighy’s charm, wit and gravitas is perfect to spearhead the film, culminating in a tiny but epic gesture, which seems not only apt but crucially important for our current turbulent times.” said Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.
”I think the world could use more stories like this, perhaps now more than ever before.” added director Oliver Hermanus about his Akira Kurosawa film.