The pair, whose previous projects include Malcolm X, He Got Game and Inside Man, will begin filming the adaptation in March. The original film is based on Ed McBain’s novel King’s Ransom and stars Toshiro Mifune as a wealthy man who is forced to pay the ransom money for his employee’s kidnapped son.
In 2008, it was reported that Martin Scorsese would be developing a remake of the story, but the project never went ahead.
Lee has previously spoken about his admiration for Kurosawa, claiming that his 1986 comedy She’s Gotta Have It was influenced by the Japanese director’s 1950 drama Rashomon.
Alan Fox, a former college basketball player and model turned playwright, will write the script. Fox is also currently working on the script for Queens Of The Stoned Age, about a model who becomes a weed dealer. Dakota Johnson is reportedly in talks to star.
Washington is next set to appear alongside Paul Mescal in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2. The actor last worked with Lee in the 2006 thriller Inside Man.
Elsewhere, Washington has been cast as the ancient Carthaginian general Hannibal in a biopic from Gladiator writer John Logan. The Antione Fuqua film, which will be released on Netflix, will tell the story of the famed military leader who posed the greatest threat to the Roman Republic, leading troops atop elephants over the Alps to attack Rome from the north.
News of Washington’s casting sparked controversy in Tunisia, the home country of the military commander, with many complaining about the historical figure being portrayed as A Black African.