Steve Zaillian to direct American remake of Timecrimes?

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Steve Zaillian to direct American remake of Timecrimes?
That's the rumor currently circulating on websites SciFi World and Comingsoon.net (the latter article being tweeted about by Nacho Vigalondo, writer and director of the original film.) Zaillain is no stranger to adaptation; he wrote the screenplays for the film adaptations of Schindler's List, Awakenings and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, among many others, as well as having directed and written All the King's Men, A Civil Action and Searching for Bobby Fischer. It's a solid body of work, if somewhat on the mainstream Hollywood side. The Comingsoon.net article features a quote from Zaillian from an upcoming interview expressing his interest in the project:

"That's something I might direct but I don't know. We have to cast it, but it's a tricky one, because I want it to be really low budget. I don't want to do a really bid budgeted film for that. I think part of its appeal is that it's kind of a low budget thriller, but it's even harder to get that made without a major actor, so the trick is to find the right actor that doesn't suddenly push the budget up into the 20s or 30s. I'd like to make it for 10 million bucks. You look at it and it's one of the rare opportunities where you have four characters, two locations, why do you need to spend $40 million dollars? This is a gift, this is a story that you wouldn't want to tell any differently, and it happens to be an economical way to go."

Zaillian's company -Film Rites - acquired the remake rights to Timecrimes in 2008, at the tail end of the Hollywood writer's strike, at which point it was set up with United Artists. Despite much speculation as to who might direct since then - both George Romero and David Cronenberg have been floated as possibilities - there have been no firm developments since and it is important to note that Zaillian is simply registering his own interest at this point. Whoever finances the film would need to agree for this to actually happen. No word on whether Zaillian will play one of the characters himself, as Vigalondo did. And while his remark on not wanting to tell the story in a different way begs the question of the necessity remaking it in the first place (cue the debate on remakes), it sounds like Zaillian appreciates the spirit of the film and he might be the right man for the job.
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More about Timecrimes

Todd BrownDecember 18, 2011 12:40 PM

To speak a bit to the 'necessity' of remaking the film, I can say with absolute certainty that the producers of the original have not broken even on it, so any further revenues are very much a good - and necessary - thing for them. And as vocal as the US fans of this film are the fact is that the original has logged less than three thousand copies sold on Videoscan. It's a minor title at best that has barely been exposed to an international audience. And that's coming from someone who loves the film - and its creator - deeply and is credited as an associate producer on it.

Shelagh M. Rowan-LeggDecember 18, 2011 6:48 PM

Overall, I'm more in the camp of remakes good for bringing attention to the original, which I think can and does happen. And with Nacho's upcoming forays into english language film, if this finally does get remade, it's likely a good thing.

thoughtatworkDecember 19, 2011 12:04 AM

That's a fucking shame, Todd. TimeCrimes is one of my favorite films of all time. In fact, I dare say its nearly perfect. I hope that Extraterrestrial puts Nacho on the scene, and TimeCrimes finally gets it's deserved audience.

Viva Nacho!