Japan Beats Hollywood to the Finish Line with Cube Remake

Lionsgate has long been teasing a remake of the Canadian science fiction classic, Cube, however, Japan has beat them to the punch with its own soon-to-be-released version. Major Japanese film producer and distributor, Shochiku, released the first trailer which shows the film’s promise.

The 1997 Vincenzo Natali (Splice, In the Tall Grass) directed the thriller centered around six people trapped in a maze designed to kill them. The low-budget film won the award for Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival and the Jury Award at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film. After achieving cult status, a sequel, Cube 2: Hypercube was released in 2002 followed by a prequel, Cube Zero in 2004. Neither reached the same level of success as the original.

While remakes of Japanese horror are common in Hollywood (think The Grudge and The Ring), it is rare that Japan would remake a North American sci-fi/horror film. However, the movie’s Kafkaesque quality along with its brutal shocks and spellbinding mystery that must be solved under penalty of death is just the type of subject matter that has long held Japanese audiences in its thrall.

Shochiku’s Cube remake was shot in November and December of 2020 (entirely in one room) from a screenplay adapted by Tokuo Koji. The film is directed by Shimizu Yasuhiko, produced by Vincenzo Natali, and stars Suda Masaki, Okada Masaki, Tashiro Hikaru, Saito Takumi, and Anne.  A release date is set for October 22, 2021.

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Written by Audrie Bretl Martin

Audrie Bretl Martin is a full-time communicator and a lover of all things pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Augustana College and a master's degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Iowa.

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