A BITTERSWEET LIFE to Be Remade, Albert Hughes Takes the Reigns
One half of the directing duo behing Menace II Society, From Hell and The Book of Eli, Albert Hughes, is set to direct a fast-tracked remake of the seminal Korean gangster film A Bittersweet Life. Anthony Peckham, recently behind Invictus and Sherlock Holmes, has been brought in to polish the script. No word yet on cast or possible release date.
There's been a awful lot of news surrounding Korean films being remade in Hollywood or Korean directors making their mark in Tinseltown lately but this is one development I can't get excited about. I'm generally not a fan of foreign films being remade (much less Korean ones) so I'm not one of the people who is excited for Spike Lee's take on Oldboy. However, I do recognize the potential that such an original premise has in a new market. The same goes for the upcoming remake of Castaway on the Moon, one of the very best films made in the last decade. Last I heard, Mark Waters (of Mr. Popper's Penguins fame) was at the helm, and while I don't think that'll amount to much I do concede that it is property with a fantastic premise, ripe for the remake treatment.
However, as great as Kim Jee-woon's A Bittersweet Life is, and it really is, it's not based on the most original of conceits. Were you to take away its magnetic star (Lee Byung-hun), flamboyant (and very Korean) mise-en-scene, and its auteur director, I'm not sure that a whole lot would be left behind. At least not enough to warrant a remake. Perhaps I'm wrong about this and they have an angle that will set it apart from the original, but I have my doubts.