Filmmaker Chad Stahelski has big plans for his adaptation of Ghost of Tsushima. The movie is based on the video game of the same name, which released in 2020. The story follows Jin Sakai, a samurai on a quest to protect Tsushima Island during the first Mongol invasion of Japan. Jin must choose between his moral code to fight honorably or pragmatic and despicable ways to get rid of his enemies. The game was developed by Sucker Punch Studios and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Now, Chad Stahelski tells Collider he wants the film adaptation to be entirely in Japanese, with a Japanese cast filling the roles. Sony is fully on board with the idea and wants to bring authenticity to the story that will be told. Stahelski says the film is character-driven, and they want to do the movie ‘all in character.’
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“So, I think if we did this right, it would be visually stunning. It’s character driven. It’s got an opportunity for great action, great looks. And honestly, we’d 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. 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 May Be the Perfect Director for the Film
Stahelski has three directing credits to his name, the John Wick trilogy, and they are three of the biggest action movies of the past two decades. John Wick released in 2014 and received excellent reviews from both audiences and critics, citing its fantastic action sequences and outstanding fight choreography. Those are two things a Ghost of Tsushima movie would need if it ever makes its way to the big screen.
With the recent success of Parasite and Squid Game, English-speaking audiences may finally be ready to accept a feature film in a different language at the box office. Stahelski recognizes the difficulty with getting audiences to read subtitles but believes his direction with his actors makes all the difference.
“There’s a way to direct actors. There’s a way to do it. Where a look can mean a look which can mean a look, which mean there are a lot of ways to do it. So, part of the challenge, not to jump over your question, but look, I think there’s a way to do it. And a way to direct the cast and a way to mellow dramatically enhance facial performance. So, if I turn the sound off, I want you to know what the scene is about, in whatever language.”
The John Wick films aren’t known for their groundbreaking dialogue, however, they’re adored by fans. If Stahelski can bring his experience from the franchise with an upcoming fourth entry, then Ghost of Tsushima should be a movie in good hands.