Ghost of Tsushima Director Wants a Japanese-Only Film
“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films” - Bong Joon Ho (Parasite 2019)
When Ghost of Tsushima was released in 2020 you could tell that Sucker Punch Studios wanted to be as authentic as possible. Given that the game takes place in Japan and takes a lot of inspiration from Japanese cinema, it could've easily come across as in-genuine and Americanized. Along with a Kurosawa mode, where everything is black and white and the audio quality sounds older, you can play all of Ghost of Tsushima with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Most games don’t even take the time to lip-sync their own English dialogue with characters’ faces properly, so to see Japanese dialogue fully lip-synced for a game made in America is very refreshing.
John Wick 4 Director and Matrix stunt man, Chad Stahelski, is set to direct a Ghost of Tsushima movie adaptation. In a recent interview with Collider, Stahelski made it clear that he wants to film the movie in Japanese.
“…we'd to 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.”
It is surprising to hear that Sony is “so on board” when usually its studios get in the way of these decisions. A most recent example, the movie Prey, has scenes where the characters speak Comanche, but the majority is spoken in English because a lot of people in the west just won't watch a movie if they have to read subtitles.
“I think America in general, or at least the Western audiences in general are getting more and more used to that because of the influence of Netflix and streamers and stuff, where we get so much more of a world content”
It is a lot easier to put trust in a director known for a franchise like John Wick, so any faith I have for any live-action video game adaptation would be in Stahelski. Of course, it's still valid to feel wary, especially if you’re worried about how authentic the project will be to Japanese culture.
Audiences will just have to find out for themselves when we start getting trailers for the movie. And in the meantime, at least the original game still exists.
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