George Takei is in a new project featuring Mel Brooks.
Fans rightfully so give William Shatner props for still working at 90 years old, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only original Star Trek actor still going strong these days. George Takei is 84 years old and is himself still acting. Takei even has a major project coming up with the famed Mel Brooks (who’s 95 years old himself).
The new project is called Blazing Samurai and features a loaded cast. Names like Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Honsou, and Star Trek: Discovery’s very own Michelle Yeoh. The man himself, Brooks, will also be lending his voice to the animated feature.
The film is based on Brooks’ own Blazing Saddles comedy and will center around Hank, played by Cera, who is a dog that wants to become a samurai. Jackson plays a cat, and Gervais plays the evil villain.
Despite the six-year production window, George Takei is hyped for Blazing Samurai
George Takei spoke at AwesomeCon on Aug. 21, 2021, and spoke about all sorts of things like William Shatner for one, his dislike of Shatner for two, and his contributions to Brooks’ Blazing Samurai film. (Via Heavy)
"Just the combination of the two words — blazing and samurai is a ridiculous combination, but, in this story, all the characters are cats."
Takei goes on to explain the plot of the film to the audience at AwesomeCon;
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"But there is one character who is not a cat — the hero. He’s a dog. And the dog is the samurai and a powerful samurai. But he doesn’t know the cat culture… and was in a village of poverty-stricken cats is in danger because there is a bad group of cats … every year comes and raids the village and robs them. …The best samurai in all of catdom is this [dog]. But you know how dogs and cats get along. So there’s that comedy element, too."
Takei even went on to explain his role in the film, that of a cat general.
"I play cat general. A samurai general… a lord who wears the samurai armor with the helmet and all. And they thought my voice sounded like a general’s voice. …But I have a lord that I work for who’s a tiny cat, but you know, these tiny cats are the ones who are the know-it-alls. And that tiny lord cat is given voice by … Ricky Gervais. So high pitched Ricky Gervais is my boss!”"
The film is due out in 2021, but we’ll have to see if this movie gets a release date this year. Casting news began to break in 2015, and it’s been in production ever since. Not exactly a normal turnaround time for the film. Even if you buy into the Covid of it all, an animated film still doesn’t take four years. Not anymore.
Still, it’ll be great to see what Brooks has left as a writer and what Takei can bring to one of Brooks’ characters.