Leonardo DiCaprio to star as Japan-trained assassin in Satori

Oh boy. News recently broke that Warner Bros has picked up the rights to the bestselling novel Satori by Don Winslow, with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star: Warner Bros. Acquires Don Winslow's Post-WWII Novel SATORI with Leonardo DiCaprio Set to Star.

The action thriller, set in post-war Japan, centers on -- surprise! -- a westerner named Nicholai Hel raised by a Japanese general and taught the deadly skills of an assassin, who gets caught up in some messy international intrigue.

The studio apparently sees some Bourne-like franchise potential in this material. Here's the publisher's back-of-the-book synopsis:

It is the fall of 1951, and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six-year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu, or "naked kill," is fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary "proximity sense"-an extra-awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world's most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him.

The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: to go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's commissioner to China. It's almost certainly a suicide mission, but Hel accepts. Now he must survive chaos, violence, suspicion, and betrayal while trying to achieve his ultimate goal of satori-the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world.
The post-war Japan setting immediately reminds me of that white-guy-as-Yakuza movie I mentioned a couple of months ago. And what I said back then still applies: Hollywood can make a movie set anywhere in the world, in any era of history... and still somehow find a way for the movie to star a white guy.

More here: Warner Bros Acquires Post-WWII Don Winslow Novel 'Satori' For Leonardo DiCaprio

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