Akira Kurosawa’s shelved script “The Mask of the Black Death” will finally hit the big screen.
Chinese studios Huayi Brothers (“Dragon Blade,” “Mojin: The Lost Legend”) and CKF Pictures (“Chongqing Hot Pot,” “Mojin: The Lost Legend”) will produce the film based on the late Japanese filmmaker’s screenplay. The studios made the announcement Wednesday during a press conference in Beijing, as reported by Chinese newspaper Global Times.
“‘Mask’ is one of Kurosawa’s films that never made it to the big screen,” said director/producer Chen Kuo-Fu, founder of CKF Pictures. “So we thought, ‘Why don’t we make the film for him?'”
The legendary filmmaker wrote the script for “The Mask of the Black Death” based on Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death.” He started penning the film right after his 1975’s “Dersu Uzala.” Originally, the project was supposed to be filmed in 1998, but was shelved after Kurosawa suffered a stroke, and later died that same year.
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According to Cinephilia Beyond, just like in “Dersu Uzala,” “The Mask of the Black Death” takes place in Russia. As humanity faces the threat of a deadly disease at the beginning of the 20th century, the country’s prince hides inside his palace, ignoring the hardships and suffering of his people.
“The Mask of the Black Death” is expected to hit theaters in 2020.