Earlier today, the full line-up for the AFI Fest in Hollywood was announced, and one of the things I'm most looking forward to seeing is the "Red Riding" trilogy. The movies were originally produced by Channel 4 for the UK, but IFC Films picked them up for theatrical release. They just played Telluride, and the buzz I've heard on them has been incredibly strong.
So, of course, they're going to be remade.
The remake's got a hell of a pedigree. Steve Zallian is going to be writing the film, and Ridley Scott is set to direct. Can't really complain about a eam like that. I assume that Zallian's going to be using the four novels by David Peace that inspired the trilogy of films as his source.
I'm just a little confused as to why they feel like they have to do it. Is there something wrong with Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, or Anand Tucker as filmmakers? Do we really have that little faith that American audiences can handle watching a drama starring people with English accents?
I've been excited to see these films for the last few months, and it looks like I'm going to see all three in one day next week. But even as I watch them, I'm going to have it in the back of my head now that these are just speed bumps on the way to the Hollywood version. I think that's what gets my dander up at this point... the idea that Hollywood is the last word on something. It's no good until Hollywood's had their way with it, right? Sure, I thought "Let The Right One In" was one of last year's very best films, and a fantastic example of how you adapt a film from a novel, but it doesn't count. Nope. Not until we get "Let Me In" with Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee next year. They'll show those dumb Swedes what they did wrong. Obviously, someone needs to remake "Red Riding" because the original stars nobodies like Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan. I mean, Considine's just one of the best actors working in any language anywhere in the world right now... but who cares? Maybe they can get Keanu!
Sounds condescending and arrogant, doesn't it?
Business as usual these days, it seems.
Here's the official Channel 4 description of the original production:
The crime trilogy boasts an all-star cast including; Mark Addy (The Full Monty), Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings), Jim Carter (Cranford), Warren Clarke (Dalziel & Pascoe), Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People), John Henshaw (Early Doors), Gerard Kearns (Shameless), Eddie Marsan (Vera Drake), David Morrissey (The Deal), Daniel Mays (White Girl), Peter Mullan (Boy A), Maxine Peake (Shameless), Saskia Reeves (The Fixer) and Lesley Sharp (Afterlife).
The three x 120 minute films, airing as part of C4’s winter 2009 schedule, are set in Yorkshire in the 1970s and 80s. Produced by Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton’s production company, Revolution Films, each film in the trilogy was directed by a separate big name director: Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited), James Marsh (Man on Wire) and Anand Tucker (And When Did You Last See Your Father?).
1974, Yorkshire - a time of paranoia, mistrust and institutionalised police corruption. Rookie journalist Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield) is determined to search for the truth in an increasingly complex maze of lies and deceit that characterises a police investigation into a series of child abductions.
In the second episode, directed by Marsh and set in 1980, The “Ripper” has tyrannised Yorkshire for six long years, and with the local police failing to make any progress, the Home Office sends in Manchester officer Peter Hunter (Considine) to review the investigation. Having previously made enemies in the Yorkshire force while investigating a shooting incident in 1974, Hunter finds himself increasingly isolated when his version of events challenges their official line on the “Ripper”.
In the final instalment, directed by Tucker and set in 1983, another young girl has disappeared and Detective Chief Superintendent Maurice Jobson (Morrissey) recognises some alarming similarities to the abductions in 1974, forcing him to come to terms with the fact that he may have helped convict the wrong man. When local solicitor John Piggott (Addy) is persuaded to fight this miscarriage of justice he finds himself slowly uncovering a catalogue of cover ups.
Sounds sort of awesome to me. If you live in Los Angeles, I highly, highly, highly recommend you check out the website for AFI Fest this year and catch these on the bigscreen.
Don't wait for the remake. Please. Don't prove the suits right once again.
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