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.
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