January 20, 2007 / 6:22 AM / 12 years ago

Japanese director plans 'sushi western'

TOKYO (Hollywood Reporter) - Inspired by the “spaghetti westerns” of the 1960s, Japanese director Takashi Miike is making the first “sushi western.”

The director has talked close friend Quentin Tarantino into appearing in the English-language movie, titled “Sukiyaki Western Django,” after Miike made a guest appearance in the Tarantino-produced horror movie “Hostel.”

The $3.8 million movie is the tale of clashes between two rival gangs. Filming began this weekend, and the film is scheduled to be released in late 2007 by Sony Pictures.

“To make a western like this has long been a dream for Miike,” said producer Masao Osaki. “His father was a huge fan of spaghetti westerns and he always wanted to make his own, so now it is his turn.

“And we think it will appeal to all filmgoers,” he said. “The older generations will want to see it because of the spaghetti western connection and younger people will be attracted by the great cast.”

The film stars Hideaki Itoh, Kaori Momoi (“Memoirs of a Geisha”) Koji Sato and Yoshino Kimura. Tarantino is scheduled to visit Japan later this month to film his scenes, but is only described by the producers as “a mystery man.”

Director of 34 movies in the past 11 years — in genres ranging from horror to action and comedy — Miike said one of the most influential films he has seen is “Django,” made by Franco Nero in 1966. Other films that he describes as “masterpieces” include “The Magnificent Seven” and “A Fistful of Dollars.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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