I can’t believe The Wolverine and Jean-Pierre Melville are about to have a strong link, if even only for a couple of minutes. Should this simple notion induce some sense of trauma, please accept all apologies ahead of time.
Anyway, an interview CraveOnline conducted with producer Arthur M. Sarkissian revealed that, next summer, James Mangold — who’s just started rolling on the aforementioned superhero film — will be taking reigns on a remake of Melville‘s classic gangster picture, Le cercle rouge. (Or, as it’ll surely be known here, The Red Circle.) News of a remake isn’t all that shocking; it’s practically archaic by this point, as John Hillcoat was attached back in mid-2010.
No matter how you feel about the choice, Sarkissian justified it, on his own part, by categorizing Mangold as “a guy’s director [who’s] from the world of the old school of movies.” (I suppose Le cercle rouge is “old school,” sure.) And while the location is being switched from Paris to Hong Kong & Macau, he feels that it won’t change too much; the story is “all about character,” though some things will be altered in a stylistic sense, such as a lack of “stylized bent guns and all of that.” He doesn’t “want to make a stylistic movie,” since “[t]he style will be there.” If that comment doesn’t quite sit with you — it caused me to utter a questioning “hmm” — the next set of quotes from Sarkissian won’t help any better.
According to him, Melville‘s film is “just dated,” and that although the characters are “fantastic,” the actual screenplay “kind of doesn’t hold together.” Well, okay, if you think you can do it better…
The rest, meanwhile, is still early enough to not have much weight. The producer’s wish list includes Mangold‘s 3:10 to Yuma stars, Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, along with Tom Hardy, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt; with two main roles to fill, I suppose they could get one from this grouping. If they should even bother remains to be seen.
Is Le cercle rouge the kind of film that could stand a remake, and is Mangold the person to do it?
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