Magnet Releasing, Magnolia Picture's genre arm has snatched the new samurai film from famed Japanese auteur Takashi Miike, "13 Assassins." The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and then headed to Toronto, has been chosen as the Closing Night film at this year's Fantastic Fest in Austin. Magnet will release the film theatrically in the U.S. in early 2011.
Koji Yakusho ("Tokyo Sonata," "Babel") stars as a samurai who brings together thirteen assassins to kill the brother of the ruthless lord Shogun. The film culminates in an intense forty-five minute battle sequence. Writing in The Hollywood Reporter, Deborah Young notes, "Takeshi Miike is one of the most prolific filmmakers in the world, chalking up more than 80 films in the past 10 years...The director's scream-and-scream-again horror films, like the unforgettable "Audition," and his goofy superhero send-ups (Venice is also hosting two of his "Zebraman" titles) would suggest he would go to work gleefully deconstructing the samurai canon. But once again, Miike surprises his audience."
The deal was negotiated by Magnet Senior Vice President Tom Quinn and Tim Halsam, CEO of Hanway Films. Announcing the news, Quinn said, "“Miike returns with a vengeance in this mother-of-all Samurai films. We could not be more honored to welcome one of the world’s greatest genre masters and this instant classic into the Magnet family.”