Ghost of Tsushima is one of several major successes Sony’s first party lineup has seen in recent years, and like those other successes, Sony is looking to capitalize on the IP’s success by expanding it into other media as well. To that end, last year, the company announced a film adaptation of Ghost of Tsushima, with Chad Stahelski of John Wick fame set to direct.
Speaking in a recent interview with Collider, Stahelski shed light on what he has envisioned for the film- and it’s quite interesting, to say the very least. Appropriately enough given the source material, he wants the Ghost of Tsushima film to be “visually stunning” and “character driven”, but more importantly, Staheski also says he wants “a complete Japanese cast”, and wants the movie itself to be in Japanese as well. According to him, Sony is on board with the idea.
“I think if we did this right, it would be visually stunning,” Stahelski said. “It’s character driven. It’s got an opportunity for great action, great looks. And honestly, we’d to try to do it, all in character. Meaning, it’s a Japanese thing about the Mongols invading Tsushima island. A complete Japanese cast, in Japanese. Sony is so on board with backing us on that.”
“I’ve been going to Japan since I was 16,” he added. “I have a love of the country, love of the people, love of the language. To try to direct not only in my language, but someone else’s and culturally shift my mindset to bring apart that in a cool way that still entices a Western audience.”
Stahelski went on to admit that getting Western audiences to pay to see a movie in a theater that isn’t in English could be a tough sell, but the director is confident that if he can “nail the other bits”, he can “inspire you enough to get in the car and go to the theater.”
“No one is going to give me $200 million to do a technology-push movie without speaking English. I get it,” he said. “So, I have to be clever and I have to figure out what’s fiduciarily responsible to the property, to the studio and still get what I want out of it and still make it something epic. Again, big challenge, man. And we’re entering two a time where I think that’s, I’m like you, man. I’ll read subtitles all day. And I think America in general, or at least the Western audiences in general are getting more and more used to that because of the influence of Netflix and streamers and stuff, where we get so much more of a world content.
“Will they show up in the theaters for that? I’m banking on yes, if everything else is there. I think it could hurt me or hurt the property if you’re failing a little less in each, visually it’s not great, the action is okay, the story is not clear. Look, if I nail all the other bits, I think I can inspire you enough to get in the car and go to the theater.”
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Ghost of Tsushima film is going to be written by Takashi Doscher, known for his work on sci-fi romance Only, his debut film Still, ESPN documentary A Fighting Chance, and more.
As of a month ago, Ghost of Tsushima has sold 9.7 million units. Unsurprisingly, based on job ads, it also seems like Sucker Punch is at work on a sequel.
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