Last week, the New Mexico Film Office announced that The Magnificent Seven, a modern day remake of Akira Kurosawa's cult classic Seven Samurai, will be filming in the state. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (South Paw, The Equalizer), the movie stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, and Peter Sarsgaard. The Magnificent Seven will be the first reunion for Fuqua, Washington and Hawke who teamed together 10 years ago in Training Day.
Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The story takes place in 1586 during the Warring States Period of Japan and is about a village of farmers that hire seven ronin (masterless samurai) to fight the bandits who are expected to return to steal the village's crops. To say Seven Samurai is a classic is an understatement. Since the movie's release, Seven Samurai has been one of the most "remade, reworked, referenced" films in cinema history.
In 1960, Seven Samurai had its first remake with John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven shot in Mexico. This remake moves the story to Mexico and tells the story of a Mexican peasant village that assembles seven gunfighters to help them defend their land and homes. The production brought together a large cast of famous actors that includes Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson.
This year's remake of The Magnificent Seven is expected to film mostly in New Mexico. The production plans to employ approximately 275 New Mexico crew members, nine New Mexico actors, and 60 New Mexico background talents. New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis is thrilled to have The Magnificent Seven filming in the state. “New Mexico is the perfect backdrop for this film and our facilities, crew and talent will help this incredible lineup of stars tell a great western story,” said the director.
Based on the original Seven Samurai screenplay by director and writer Akira Kurosawa, the screenwriters for The Magnificent Seven are John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) and Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective). The story centers around seven outlaws who team up to defend a village from a powerful adversary. The production has already started filming last week at the Santa Fe Studios.
In addition to its diverse and iconic locations, filmmakers are also attracted to New Mexico's competitive film incentive package. It includes a generous 25% to 30% Refundable Film Production Tax Credit and the Film Crew Advancement Program. On top of all that, post-production services done in New Mexico can qualify for the 25% Refundable Tax Credit even if the project is shot elsewhere.
For more information on filming in New Mexico, visit the New Mexico Film Office, a LocationsHub and Reel-Scout client.