Japanese remake of Ghost part of a larger trend

Senior Editor
06.10.10 22 Comments

Paramount pictures is planning a Japanese remake of the 1990 film Ghost.  The move comes as Japanese-made films have taken an increasingly larger share of the Japanese movie market, which was once dominated by American films.

Imported movies accounted for 43 percent of Japan’s box office last year, far off a peak of 73 percent hit in 2002, according to the Motion Pictures Producers Association of Japan (MPAAJ).
Kinomoto said another reason for the decline may be an aversion to subtitles among the younger generation, which has grown up watching dubbed movies on DVDs and TVs that provide language-setting options.
“To those who are so used to watching dubbed movies at home on DVD, reading subtitles on the screen is somewhat of a hassle,” he said, citing research that teenagers in particular find that subtitles make it hard to focus on the action.

You might be surprised, thinking Japanese teenagers are turning out as dumb as Americans.  But keep in mind, the Japanese alphabet can make subtitled scenes lose a little in the translation.  For example:

Pulp Fiction with English subtitles

The same scene with Japanese subtitles

Now the plan is to produce actual local remakes of American films and skip the middle man, much like the US does with Japanese movies like The Ring.

Paramount sees local production as one strategy to build its business, but it currently does not have any other Japanese productions in the works and will first see how it goes with “Ghost,” he said.
The new “Ghost,” which Paramount is making with Nippon TV and distributor Shochiku, is set for release in Japan this autumn. It will star Japanese actress Nanako Matsushima (“The Ring”) in Moore’s role and South Korean heartthrob Song Seung Heon (TV drama “East of Eden”) in Swayze’s part.
“Ghost” was a smash hit in 1990 with its universal tale of a love that knows no boundaries such as real life and the after life. Swayze portrays a murdered man who must warn his loving wife (Demi Moore) that she is in danger, and it is most memorable, perhaps, for its scene of Moore making pottery as Swayze wraps his arms around her while the song “Unchained Melody” plays in the background. [via AP]

My sources tell me that in the Japanese version, the part originally played by Whoopi Goldberg as the psychic whose body was taken over by Patrick Swayze so that he and his wife could enjoy one last love scene, will be played by an octopus. And rather than making a simple pottery vase, they will be constructing a box that can hold the spirit of an ancient warrior that’s been trying to steal her used panties.

Around The Web