Saturday, May 23, 2009

Horrible News: Remakeover!

You can almost hear it - Song Kang-ho weeping.

Remakes. We've all heard of them. They arrive at our theatres in droves, updating/ruining cult classics, actual classics, legendary horror franchises, and the foreign market. There's talk of a new Rocky Horror Picture Show in the works, and producers can't seem to keep their hands off of poor Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. What's the new hot ticket? South Korean films adapted into American films, and American films adapted into Russian films.

Park Chan-Wook is reasonably well known. I haven't seen anything other than Joint Security Area in full out of him, but it rocketed right up to the top of my charts. He's directed more easily recognized films Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. And they're about to become even more easily recognized, because they're soon to be American films. Yayz! No. No, that's wrong. That's supposed to be a 'booz'.

Steven Spielberg has the audacity, and directorial power, to be working on the adaptation of Oldboy with a tentative yet assured wish for Will Smith to play the lead. Charlize Theron is apparently taking on the Lady Vengeance Americanization, and one of the producers of Transformers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, is gunning for his very own Mr. Vengeance. That's a lot of remakes. There's the first rumblings of a Thirst remake, too, and that hasn't even had a chance to get sawn by a broad American audience.

More from the South Korean front: Bong Joon-Ho, my favorite working Asian director, may be having his forthcoming feature Mother remade, and also awesome-stellar-out-of-control monster movie/satirical take on America film The Host remade, too. By Americans. It's like we've completely missed the point on this one.

On top of this all, Russia has decided it needs not only its own version of Man On Fire but its own version of Man On Fire AND two versions of Working Girl, one especially for the Japanese market. I haven't seen either. I don't want to see Man On Fire, for one, and I probably don't want to see Working Girl, for another. But a Russian version of these films... now I'm interested.

- Eric T. Voigt, Posting From Work

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