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Last month, Universal Studios announced that it was going to have to push back the Keanu Reeves-starring samurai epic 47 Ronin again to Christmas 2013, but it is increasingly looking like making that date is a pipe dream. A new report suggests that Universal has taken over the editing from its director, first timer Carl Rinsch, and that the budget has ballooned to $225 million.
Sources close to the project told The Wrap Wednesday that Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley will now handle the editing of the mega-production, which was at one point supposed to be out this November.
In August, Universal said that the film will now be out on Christmas, 2013, as they had to add more 3D effects and finish reshoots. Now those reshoots, which included more close-ups of Reeves to make sure he looked involved in the climactic battle at the end, are done, but the production is still being called a “nightmare.”
A source claimed that the budget is now at $225 million, which would mean that the film would have to make at least half-a-billion worldwide for Universal to break even when marketing and other costs are factored in. However, a studio executive maintains that the film is still at $175 million.
The film was directed by Rinsch, who is better known for commercials and has never directed a feature before. The Wrap’s sources say he struggled to control the production and Universal finally let him go after the reshoots were completed. Universal mainly went to reshoots to expand Reeves’ role, since he is the only well-known American actor in the film, which is rounded out by a mostly Japanese cast.
Universal has pushed back the release date several times. In April, the studio announced a Feb. 8, 2013 date, but then in August pushed it back again to Christmas 2013.
The troubles surrounding the production are probably the last thing Universal needs after having to deal with Battleship failing at the box office this summer. Although, the studio did have success with Ted and is about to release Les Miserables and This Is 40. Also, 47 Ronin could do well overseas, where 3D films have done particularly well lately.