There is a gameplay setting on Ghost of Tsushima which allows you to switch the audio to Japanese language with English subtitles in order to provide players with a more authentic experience, and it appears that Chad Stahelski (John Wick), director of Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions’ forthcoming adaptation, wishes to make this his default setting by outlining his intention to make his film as a Japanese-language film with a Japanese cast.
Speaking exclusively with Collider about his ambitions for Ghost of Tsushima, Stahelski said “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 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. 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.”
It’s that final point which appears to be the biggest challenge in front of Stahelski, because while the game has a built in fanbase, getting your average cinemagoer to look beyond the language barrier and read subtitles, especially for an intended blockbuster, will be harder than choreographing a John Wick fight scene.
“No one is going to give me $200 million to do a technology-push movie without speaking English”, said Stahelski. “I get it. So, I have to be clever and I have to figure out what’s fiduciarily responsible to the property, to the studio and still get what I want out of it and still make it something epic. Again, big challenge, man. And we’re entering two a time where I think that’s, I’m like you, man. I’ll read subtitles all day. And 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.
“Will they show up in the theatres for that?” the filmmaker continued. “I’m banking on yes, if everything else is there. I think it could hurt me or hurt the property if you’re failing a little less in each, visually it’s not great, the action is okay, the story is not clear. Look, if I nail all the other bits, I think I can inspire you enough to get in the car and go to the theatre.”
Ghost of Tsushima follows Jin Sakai, “a samurai warrior and the last surviving member of his clan, who has to set aside the traditions that have shaped him as a warrior to wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Tsushima.” It became Sony’s fastest-selling first party original IP on the PlayStation 4 over its first three days and has shifted over 10 million copies since it was released in July 2020.
Will the fact Ghost of Tsushima is going to be a Japanese-Language Film affect whether you see it or not? In this age of Squid Game and Parasite it shouldn’t really make a difference should it? Let us know what you think by heading to our social channels @FlickeringMyth…