Ordinarily, when a movie is released to poor reviews and an even poorer performance at the box office, you should not expect to ever see a sequel. Well, it seems that the 2013 Keanu Reeves-fronted action fantasy, 47 Ronin, is the exception to the rule, as a follow-up has now been announced with Mulan actor Ron Yuan due to sit in the director's chair. 47 Ronin 2 will be produced by Universal 1440 Entertainment and is set to be distributed by Netflix.

"I'm incredibly excited to be working with Universal and the producing team on this genre-blending, martial arts, action, horror and cyber-punk film," said Ron Yuan. "This will be a fun, intense, supercharged thrill ride for viewers globally."

However, for fans of the first movie, it does sound like the 47 Ronin sequel will not have too much to do with its predecessor, as it will be set 300 years in the future in an exotic cyberpunk world. Reportedly the movie will be a "fresh, re-imagined take on the original feature and will incorporate horror along with modern samurai and ninja elements." So, don't expect to see Keanu Reeves or any of your favorite characters, if, indeed, you can remember any of the other characters.

Based very loosely on the Japanese legend, the first 47 Ronin follows the John Wick star as Kai, a half-Japanese, half-English outcast adopted by the household of Lord Asano who joins the Ronin. When Lord Asano is punished for injuring rival Lord Kira and asked to commit seppuku, Kai and the other samurai realise that their master was not at fault and set out to seek revenge against Lord Kira. Directed by Carl Rinsch in his directorial debut, 47 Ronin stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuch, Ko Shibasaki, and Min Tanaka alongside Reeves.

The movie was met with much criticism upon release for its one-dimensional characters and dull approach to the material, grossing only $151 million against its total budget of $175 million, making it a costly box office bomb that left Universal in the red for the year. 47 Ronin was considered one of the biggest box office bombs of 2013, making it hugely surprising that a sequel has been greenlit all these years later.

While he will be taking on directing duties for the 47 Ronin follow-up, Ron Yuan is much better known for his work in front of the camera, having starred in a variety of both big and small screen productions including the likes of Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy, and Marco Polo, as well as The Accountant and Independence Day: Resurgence. He can be seen next in Disney's upcoming live-action remake of Mulan, which is now due for release on September 4th, both on Disney+ and wherever theaters are open. The movie has been at the end of fan backlash recently for the announcement that the movie will be offered on the streaming service for a premium price tag of $29.99.

While the news of a sequel to 47 Ronin on Netflix is surprising, it could very well end up being an improvement on the much-maligned original with its cyberpunk approach to the material. Production on the sequel to 47 Ronin is expected to begin in early 2021. This news comes to us courtesy of Deadline.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge