This is the original English transcript of a conversation with director Bernard Rose which was part of an interview article published on February 22 by French speaking media outlet Blog Fascinant Japon to celebrate the third anniversary of the theatrical release of Samurai Marathon : Bernard Rose, un anglais au pays des samourai.
If memory serves me right, producer Jeremy Thomas suggested you could go to Japan and film Samurai Marathon with a Japanese team and cast. Could you remind our readers of the project’s premises?
Jeremy Thomas had made a number of films with Nakazawa Toshiaki (’13 Assassins’ being the best known). Nakazawa suggested Samurai Marathon to Jeremy as a coproduction, which he had already developed as a screenplay by Saito Hiroshi from the novel by Dobashi Akihiro. Jeremy had the idea that a western director could bring something different to the genre and asked me if I would be interested in taking it on.
The idea of making a Samurai movie in Japan was impossible to refuse, so I went to Tokyo to meet with Nakazawa and Yamagishi Kikumi who run Sedic productions. We took a trip up to Shonai where Sedic have a standing set of a Samurai village and scouted the amazing ancient forests in that region.