Memoirs of a Geisha - 2005
Now on DVD
|For her first English language role, Zhang Ziyi stars as the title character of Sayuri in the long awaited movie adaptation of Arthur Golden's bestselling novel.
Set in a mysterious exotic world, which still casts a potent spell today, Nitta Sayuri (Zhang Ziyi) tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it. Despite the treacherous Hatsumomo (Gong Li) who nearly breaks her spirit, the girl blossoms into a legendary geisha under the guidance of her mentor Mameha (Michelle Yeoh). Beautiful and accomplished, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man who is out of her reach, the mysterious Chairman (Ken Watanabe).
Large - Medium - Small
17 MB mov
TV spot - 8 MB avi
"Making of" - 10 MB wmv
Novel's first chapter
Worldwide release dates
Cast and crew
1/23/06 - A video clip from the Memoirs of a Geisha international TV special. It has a brief interview with Ziyi and focuses on the actresses' training, especially for the dances.
|Memoirs TV special - 8 MB wmv|
And here's a new gallery with 35 more pictures.
And finally, if you scroll down this forum thread you will find a special surprise
12/09/05 - Video segments about Memoirs of a Geisha are available from Entertainment Tonight and the Today Show, both featuring Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh. Meanwhile AOL has a new video with a clip from the Snow Dance scene.
A few pictures from the New York premiere
And HQ pics from the Santa Barbara Film Society Benefit Gala
Here are couple of positive reviews of the film from Japan. From The Daily Yomiyuri, "The life of a geisha well translated." A quote
Casting non-Japanese stars as geisha, including Zhang Ziyi as the lead character, seemed to run the risk of disappointing Japanese audiences. However, it turns out that the Asian stars fit well in the geisha world. And the world director Rob Marshall creates is reasonably believable. The movie is a standard success story, only set in a world unfamiliar to many: the Gion entertainment district in Kyoto in the 1920s to 1940s. The story is mostly true to the book, cutting some developments and focusing on memorable scenes. As a result, it successfully translates the book's atmosphere.... Marshall, the director of Chicago, has once again brought a well-known story to life on the screen. In this sense, he lives up to expectations. As a whole, Memoirs of a Geisha is a good blend of Japan, Asia and Hollywood.
Asahi has a review titled "Casting choices leave fond memories."
In the end, the issue turned out to be nonissue. Director Rob Marshall's decision to have non-Japanese actresses play some very Japanese parts in his film adaptation of Arthur Golden's best-selling "Memoirs of a Geisha" was bound to generate controversy, and it did. But now that the film is opening in Japan, the howls of indignation that greeted Marshall's move are fading to a whisper. Considering the performances, it's hard to figure out what all the fuss was about. Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh, all of Chinese ethnicity, handle their English-speaking geisha roles with aplomb...
Though its evocation of prewar Japan is not entirely grounded in reality, this visually sumptuous Cinderella story will win over skeptics... While it's a shame that no Japanese actress could meet Marshall's requirements, his choice of Zhang does not disappoint. The 26-year-old Chinese actress, who wowed audiences as a blind dancer in Zhang Yimou's "House of Flying Daggers," deftly conveys Chiyo's metamorphosis from ragged housemaid to radiant geisha.
Ziyi's performance has also won praise from American reviewers. LA Weekly says
...Yet I nevertheless found myself falling for the movie’s intoxicating charms — chief among them Zhang Ziyi, whose porcelain skin and watery, blue-gray eyes are repeatedly filmed in screen-filling close-up, and who possesses the pantomimic expressiveness of the great silent-film stars. To watch emotions flash across her face is to behold a calm sea momentarily disturbed by the ripples of a skipped stone. It’s the kind of performance that can make the material seem richer than it actually is. And it’s all the more remarkable in that Zhang, like much of the primary Geisha cast, is far from a fluent English speaker.
And from Comingsoon.net
The main reason to see this movie is Zhang Ziyi, the Chinese ingénue from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"... When you can get three of China's most talented exports to star in your movie, it's hard to go wrong, even if they're not quite as believable as Japanese geishas when they're all speaking in broken English. Still, Ziyi is as lovely and charming as ever, showing off her dancing skills once again in a passionate number done on 7-inch lifts, which is the film's unforgettable showstopper.
Thanks to Moses, Billie-Jean, and CrystalGaia.
12/07/05 - MSN has an excellent five-minute feature about Memoirs of a Geisha that includes interviews with Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh and bits of new footage. They also have two clips from an interview with Memoirs director Rob Marshall, and print interviews with Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, and Gong Li.
Below are two more videos of recent interviews Ziyi has given. The first is an interview conducted by About.com with Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, and Youki Kudoh at the Memoirs premiere in Hollywood on Sunday. The second is from FTV Taiwan and I think was made while Ziyi was in New York earlier this month.
|Memoirs premiere - 10 MB wmv||New York interview - 2 MB wmv|
Thanks to Billie-Jean and CrystalGaia for the news.
12/05/05 - The US premiere of Memoirs of a Geisha was held on Sunday night at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Ziyi wore a magnificent white dress and looked as lovely as we have ever seen her. The gallery is below
12/03/05 - Here are a few higher quality videos from the Memoirs of a Geisha Tokyo premiere, via Yahoo Japan. First is an interview with Ziyi, in Mandarin with Japanese subtitles. There are three videos of the premiere itself: one, two, three. Finally, from Livedoor is an hour-long video of the press conference.
Memoirs has recieved its first awards nominations of the season from the International Press Academy for the Satellite Awards. Nine nominations total, including Best Actress (Drama) for Zhang Ziyi, Best Supporting Actress (Drama) for Gong Li, Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director. The complete list is here. Congratulations to Z and the rest of the Memoirs team..
On Friday, Ziyi attended a benefit screening of Memoirs sponsored by the Santa Barbara Cinema Society. A few pictures are below
11/30/05 - Sina has posted a video from the premiere of Memoirs of a Geisha, showing the cast on the red carpet, and with comments from Ziyi (in Mandarin), Michelle Yeoh and Rob Marshall. You can download it here: 6 MB wmv
Japan Today asks ordinary Japanese what they think about the controversy of casting Chinese actresses in the lead roles. Two quotes: "Zhang Ziyi is really brilliant and I am sure she handles the role pretty well," and "Zhang Ziyi is a perfect actress for this film."
Rolling Stone has a positive review of the film, "Zhang is loveliness incarnate... Any doubts about three Chinese actresses speaking English with Japanese accents vanish in the face of their deeply felt performances and the world Marshall conjures with magical finesse." And another review from the New York Observer, "If films still aspire to visual art, Memoirs of a Geisha belongs in a museum... So much to see and hear, yet the magic of Memoirs of a Geisha is the human way it touches the heart."
Finally, here are some pictures from a recent Japanese interview.
Thanks to Billie-Jean and CrystalGaia for the news.
11/29/05 - The world premiere for Memoirs of a Geisha was held in Tokyo today. The gallery is below, thanks to Moses for the pictures.
And here's a short video of Ziyi at yesterday's press conference: 2 MB wmv
11/28/05 - A press conference for Memoirs of a Geisha was held in Tokyo on Monday, in preperation for the world premiere which will be held tonight at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena. Japan Today has an excellent article covering the event. Here's a quote from director Rob Marshall
"For the final scenes, we filmed in Kyoto temples that had never allowed filming before. But all throughout, we have tried to pay great respect to Japanese culture. I found the story very daunting to tell, as an American. I especially wanted to honor the profession because a lot of people in the West still don't know what geishas really are. The challenge for me was to bring a beautiful fable to life, to lift the veil on the beauty, joy and heartbreak of being a geisha."
For pictures, see this gallery: Memoirs Tokyo press conference gallery - 17 pics
Thanks to Moses for the pictures.
11/26/05 - A few weeks ago, I posted about Ziyi attending an early screening of Memoirs of a Geisha at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Dec. 5th. After some confusion about whether Z would actually be able to attend, it is now confirmed that she will be there for a discussion after the screening. As a bonus, earlier in the day they will be showing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and 2046.
The LA Times has an informative article about the language difficulties faced on the set.
Then the real work began for the five lead actors who had never acted in English-speaking parts. "Our table read, which normally would last a couple of hours, lasted weeks," Marshall says. The actors spent six weeks perfecting their English, and it was a constant test. In addition to Drake, the movie employed another dialect coach, a dialogue coach (who would run lines with actors) and two translators. Ziyi Zhang... says the script was peppered with words that proved nearly insurmountable. "The word 'world' for me is really hard," the actress says in what is now competent and clear English. "One hundred times later, I was able to say it."
Some assorted pictures, including a few HQs
Thanks to Carl Lau and CrystalGaia for the news.
11/26/05 - Ziyi at a Memoirs of a Geisha press conference in Washington D.C. back on November 10th. Thanks to Chian for the tip.
11/24/05 - Seven more clips from Memoirs have been released. The first is a longer clip of Sayuri (Ziyi) training in the arts of a geisha. The second clip is a confrontation between Hatsumomo (Gong Li) and Mother (Kaori Momoi), I believe it is the scene where Hatsumomo is told to leave the okiya after Sayuri is formally adopted.
|Sayuri's training - 2 MB rm||Hatsumomo - 3 MB rm|
Five more clips are available at Movies.go.com. Make sure to see the clips titled "I Want a Life That is Mine". "You Will be Known as Sayuri", and "Lesson of the Cherry Blossom."
11/23/05 - For the past few days, Zhang Ziyi has been in New York promoting Memoirs of a Geisha. She and other cast members gave interviews to the media and some new footage was released as well. This five-minute video includes those scenes, and comments about the film from Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, and director Rob Marshall: Memoirs press video - 10 MB wmv
Below are some pictures taken during her interviews in New York.
11/21/05 - Two reviews, first from Variety
Rob Marshall follows his smash "Chicago" debut with a consummate piece of traditional studio craftsmanship that bespeaks fastidious planning and execution in all departments. From a filmmaking point of view, this is a work that the old Hollywood moguls themselves would have been proud to present... Zhang is convincing and mesmerizingly beautiful, even if there is an intangible missing from her dialogue delivery in English that gives her somewhat less impact here than she had in her virtuoso performance in Wong Kar-wai's recent "2046."
And from the Hollywood Reporter
The acting in all the major roles is astute. Zhang manages to seize the contradictory qualities of her character -- shyness and uncertainty coupled the defiance and iron will -- and mold them into a memorable female character. Yeoh brings just the right dignity and cautious calculation to the role of Sayuri's mentor. Gong puts the necessary sexuality into hateful Hatsumomo. Watanabe and Yakusho make strong impressions as wealthy men reduced to pandering to Yank occupiers after World War II.
Also an article from the Phillipine Daily Inquirer
When Ziyi talked about the reports that there was a lot of crying among the actresses on the set, perhaps because of the script’s emotional tug, she choked with emotion, too, as she replied. “Last night, I saw the movie for the first time. I cried at the end. I felt like I went back into my character. In the movie there are so many scenes where I could cry out but I thought about who she is. She didn’t want anyone to see her sadness. In the movie, I cried but I didn’t want to show it too much because the Japanese hide their emotions. I usually held my tears until Rob said cut. I go to a corner and I just let it out…” Ziyi bit her lips, trying not to be overcome by emotion but her tears rolled down, and momentarily, she was Sayuri again, touched by her own memoirs.
11/16/05 - Below is the one-minute Memoirs of a Geisha preview that ran on Monday night. It's mostly similiar to the other trailers, but the new material is very effective, and I think it is the best trailer yet. Thanks to Shadow for the video. Beside it is another scan from the photobook.
|Memoirs preview - 8 MB avi||Photobook scan|
Ziyi and the cast of Memoirs are on the cover of Time Asia. Inside is an detailed report on the film by Richard Corliss, longer and more interesting than his previous essay. Below are some new promo pictures that were released yesterday, there's a total of 43 that you can see here.
Also some behind the scenes shots with Ziyi and director Rob Marshall.
Thanks to Shadow and CrystalGaia.
11/13/05 - Sony and NBC have been advertising a sneak preview of Memoirs of a Geisha that will appear Monday night on the NBC program "Medium" at 10 PM EST.
The official site has been updated with small new pictures if you click on "Customized Photostamps". Also, here are a few more movie-related pictures from the Ziyi photo exhibit in Japan.
Entertainment Weekly has an article about Memoirs titled "Opening the Kimono." A quote
Each female lead was assigned a specific ''mood'' palette: vibrant reds, blues, and greens for Gong Li's intense, scheming Hatsumomo, for instance, versus the ''peaceful, calm colors'' worn by Michelle Yeoh's maternal Mameha. Ziyi Zhang's Sayuri, a servant girl who blossoms into Kyoto's most beloved geisha, undergoes the greatest transformation, which Atwood captured by gradually swapping dark, subdued tones in simple ''gritty-poor'' cotton for ''rich, light'' hues in elegant silk.
Finally, Jane at Michelle Yeoh Web Theatre has some news about the film's tentative release in China
The tentative release date of Memoirs in mainland China is set at January 12th with the Beijing premiere at 9th. Zhang Ziyi, Michelle, and Gong Li are all expected to attend. As usual, the English film will be dubbed into Mandarin and most likely Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi will dub their own voices. Of course all these will depend on the approval of the state film administration (still pending).
Thanks to Phi, Fanqiemeimei, Jin, and Joy for the news.
11/12/05 - Five scans from Memoirs of a Geisha: A Portrait of the Film. Most of the captions are my own, as the book does not usually say what scene each picture is from. These are fit to be framed, click to enlarge
11/12/05 - Another positive review from an early screening of Memoirs has surfaced, this time by Movie City News editor Kristopher Tapley on his blog Incontention. Here's a quote from his review, with some praise for Ziyi
Memoirs of a Geisha is a refreshingly unique and layered tale of twisted and hidden love, repressed desires, and the art of deception, both as a profession and as a necessity... Tackling the leading role of Sayuri with an ease that unquestionably puts her in the hunt for a Best Actress nomination, Ziyi Zhang holds the weight of the film on her shoulders as if born to do so. No novice qualities seep through here in the slightest. No ambivalence or apprehension is apparent. Complete and total control and confidence rule the day.
Thanks to CrystalGaia and Xiayun for pointing out the review.
11/08/05 - There will be a sneak preview of Memoirs of a Geisha, open to the public, in Santa Monica at the Aero Theatre on Monday, December 5. Tickets are only available at the door on the day on the show. As I mentioned earlier, Ziyi will be attending another preview screening held by the the Santa Barbara Cinema Society on December 2nd, but tickets there start at $275.
Goldderby has posted a new review of Memoirs. Critic Tom O'neil loved the film. The money quotes:
The attention to detail draws you in slowly to the main character's secret world and to her lonely perspective as an orphan yearning for the love of "The Chairman," a man who once showed her a sweet kindness... This geisha, Chinese superstar Ziyi Zhang, is utterly seductive, both physically and emotionally, and gives such a raw, deeply felt performance that she'll probably be nommed for best actress. A supporting actress bid is likely for her snarling screen nemesis, portrayed by Gong Li... [Director Rob Marshall] has once again proven what a filmmaking winner he is with "Memoirs of a Geisha," the first major Academy Award contender that can be considered a shoo-in for a best picture nomination.
Thanks to Daniel Zelter and CrystalGaia for news.
11/06/05 - Lots of Memoirs of a Geisha news out today. The official site has been updated with a photo gallery, wallpapers, cast and crew bios, and a bit more. The date for wide release in the US is stated to be December 23rd, despite rumors of a wide release on December 9th. Below are some wallpapers and pictures from the new site
The production notes run to a pleasant 23 pages and discuss geishas, the novel, casting, the actresses' training, set design, costumes, the music and more. Here is an excerpt about the Ziyi's snow dance scene
In the film, the heart and soul that Sayuri pours into her coming-out dance establishes her as the brightest light in the hanamachi. Although a real-life apprentice would rarely if ever be featured in a solo, let alone dance with such abandon, Marshall opted for a Kabuki-influenced choreography for Sayuri’s dramatic solo. The importance of dance in the geisha world resonated with Marshall and choreographer John DeLuca. “I wanted this one dance to convey to the audience the passion and turmoil in Sayuri’s heart. It was incredibly exciting for us to blend our vision as artists with the beautiful traditions of Japanese dance in telling Sayuri’s story.”
The winter-themed dance is performed on a narrow runway or hanamichi (not hanamachi), making it more Kabuki-like. “That was Rob’s idea,” said DeLuca. “The narrowness made it even more difficult with the lights and the snow.” Zhang agreed. “It was definitely a challenge, and I ended up swallowing huge mouthfuls of fake snow. When I first saw the eight-inch platform shoes, I thought they were props. Then John told me I had to dance in them! The dance involved a high degree of acting,” she continued. “It was theater within theater. The music was haunting and very much suited the mood of the jilted woman.”
Zhang’s commitment endeared her to Marshall. “I wonder if anything is too difficult for Ziyi,” he mused. Tachibana felt the same way. “Being graceful in those shoes, making it look effortless, having the kimono flow and the parasol fall into place is a lot to think about. She handled it magnificently.”
Below are some cast pictures, in the top row: Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, and Gong Li; and on the bottom Youki Kudoh (Pumpkin), Ken Watanabe (the Chairman), and Koji Yakusho (Nobu.)
The official site says they will have IM icons soon, but there's already a huge number of fanmade icons at various Livejournal pages. Speaking of fan art, Fayde.com has some nice Memoirs related blends (look under Challenge 15.)
The Los Angeles Times has an article today titled "Eastern lore, Western allure" that discusses the costumes and has a few new pictures
To create the costumes for "Memoirs of a Geisha," Academy Award-winning designer Colleen Atwood also had to understand and portray an exacting culture. "In Japan, there are rules for everything," she says, "so what you wear in a particular season is very well-defined."... Atwood thinks audiences will respond to the femininity of the costumes and the beauty of the fabrics used, but she acknowledges that what the Japanese consider sexy is different from the Western ideal. "The whole idea is to have mystery," she says. "It's all about hidden treasures.".. The silhouette of a kimono fastened with a thick obi is barrel-like; it pads and obscures the body. Atwood altered the costumes slightly to create a shape more palatable to modern audiences. "We wanted to see a shoulder, to have the illusion of a waist and have a sense of breasts beneath the kimono," she says. "We were trying to honor the form but make it more accessible, so we made the obi fit tight against the body to sort of glam it up."
Below are the LA Times pictures, a Sayuri billboard in Japan, and the new cover of the novel, which is now available in bookstores.
Finally, Apple has posted a slightly higher quality version of the Japanese trailer which you can download - 17 MB mov
11/06/05 - Time magazine has an article about Memoirs of a Geisha by Richard Corliss, with brief comments from the actresses, director Rob Marshall, and producer Steven Spielberg
Geisha revives the sweeping spirit both of old-fashioned, mature film romance and of a day when Hollywood believed it could tell stories of any country or culture.... "When I saw Rob's version of Geisha," [Spielberg] says, "I realized that he was a much better choice than me. I like that it was like Kabuki theater. The pauses, the looks of the characters, were all little moments of directorial authorship. The close-ups of the hands in pouring the tea. The shots of the geishas' kimono trains wriggling like the tail of a fish through a stream. Rob took the liquid metaphor of the water in Sayuri's eyes and created a river of images. It seemed to be planned by the heart. But it was planned. He had a picture in his mind, and he fought until the picture was on film."
11/04/05 - The "Memoirs of a Geisha: A Portrait of the Film" photobook is now available. Amazon had its release date listed as Dec. 9th, but they have already started shipping pre-orders. The Strand bookstore has it for half price, even less the Amazon (thanks Carl.) It's also available in some Banana Republic stores, but at full price. Here are some low quality samples from the book: one, two, three, four
An advance screening of Memoirs of a Geisha, available to the public, will be held in San Francisco on Nov. 30th, sponsored as fundraiser by the San Francisco Parks Trust. Tickets are $150 and will help support the restoration of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.
11/04/05 - There is an article about the making of Memoirs of a Geisha in today's New York Times, titled "The delicate job of transforming a geisha." Here is a quote
...All this would be meaningless, of course, unless "Geisha" was done right, Mr. Wick said, and that was the biggest hurdle for the studio. "No one wants a movie as a piece of business where its great version could be extraordinary, but if it's not executed very well, it's problematic," he said. "We felt so strongly that the great version of the movie would be something that would work all over the world. But the medium version would be of a lot less interest. It's not like a movie where the action is your default position."Ms. Pascal added: "To render it well, it's not a tiny art film. If you're going to make this movie correctly, the beautiful version, you have to see Japan, you have to see all the beauty that Kyoto has to offer, you have to really experience that world. And that costs money."In the end, the studio did bet heavily on "Geisha," and it is letting that bet ride this fall, building its most aggressive Oscar campaign in years around a movie that the film's backers are daring to liken to "Doctor Zhivago," "Gone With the Wind" and "Lawrence of Arabia."It's doubtful, of course, that making "Memoirs of a Geisha" was really all that risky. This was no spec script, after all: the novel sold four million copies in English and was translated into 32 languages, though its sales in Japan were lackluster. And American audiences have grown increasingly accepting of all kinds of faces - and even subtitles - thanks both to a wave of Chinese films released in the United States and to the widely observed influence of Asian cinema on Hollywood.
Another person who saw an early test screening posted some comments about it on their blog
The film is BEAUTIFUL!!!! ...It's the type of movie that you will want to see again. And apparently according to Jennifer, not only were all the producers and big wigs sitting in the audience but it was the first time that the entire audience stayed through the credits and filled out every single questionnaire. The most amazing fact about this film is that not one scene was filmed in Japan. It was entirely filmed in California and you would never be able to tell.... The magic of film, eh? So we are giving it TWO THUMBS UP and RUN DON'T WALK TO SEE THIS FILM.......
10/29/05 - Some HQ Memoirs of a Geisha pictures, including the soundtrack cover and the pictures of the three geisha in a teahouse.
Soundtrack.net has an exclusive first look at the Memoirs soundtrack, including music samples from each of the 18 tracks that composer John Williams wrote for the film.
The USA Today has a short blurb about the Snow Dance scene
Ziyi Zhang's dance solo is one of the most riveting moments in the film. Choreographer John DeLuca's initial inspiration for the dance came when he saw a picture of 8-inch black lacquered platform sandals a courtesan wore in a Kabuki play. The shoes were difficult to dance in, but they forced the wearer into movements simultaneously beautiful and dramatic.
Finally, the Hollywood Reporter has an article about the California on Location Awards, where Memoirs location manager Mike Fantasia was recognized for his efforts in balancing filmmaking and natural conservation on the sets where Memoirs was filmed.
Thanks to Moses, CrystalGaia, and Daniel Zelter for the news.
For older news updates see the Memoirs of a Geisha news archive.
The Geisha, in Translation - Bottling the Japanese essence is the challenge facing American film director Rob Marshall and producer Steven Spielberg as they try to bring Arthur Golden's bestselling 1997 novel, "Memoirs of a Geisha," alive onscreen. Marshall recently finished shooting and has begun editing the estimated $85-million-budget movie, now scheduled for Christmas release.
Memoirs of a Chinese-American Geisha - If the coming story in film is globalization, "Memoirs of a Geisha," set for a Christmas release by Sony Pictures, may one day be seen as a movie at the tipping point. Based on an American novel about a hidden aspect of Japanese life, it relies heavily on three stars of Chinese cinema and has no white stars. The San Francisco Bay doubled for the Sea of Japan, while Ventura in Southern California housed an entire Japanese town for the shoot last fall, and the Yamashiro Restaurant in Hollywood served as a Kyoto teahouse.
Spielberg's Geisha Ready to Roll - Zhang Ziyi is in so much awe of her role in her first big Hollywood break that she does not want to speak about it. Several prominent Chinese actresses came close to signing the deal but Spielberg chose Ziyi after seeing her in Hero.
Japanese on Edge Over Spielberg's Geisha Film - Peter MacIntosh, an expert on geisha who has been advising the film's director, Rob Marshall, admitted there was widespread anxiety within the profession about the impact of the film. "It's not being made for a Japanese audience and it looks like they're going to juice it up a bit. Anyone who knows something about Japanese culture might actually be appalled by the whole thing."