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Paul Haggis to Write, Possibly Direct ‘Cell 211’ Remake

Written by on October 28, 2010 

In news relating to the foreign-to-English remake department, Deadline (via THR) writer and director Paul Haggis has been selected by CBS Films to pen their remake of the Spanish thriller Cell 211. The film was the big winner at the Goya Awards recently, making a sweep at what is considered to be the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars. So it’s fair to say that it’s a movie worth checking out, but if the prospect of reading scares you enough, now you can just watch the American version!

While he’s been set to write the script, there hasn’t been any word on whether or not that he’ll be directing, although I wouldn’t be completely surprise either way. The plot is the “story of two men on different sides of a prison riot — the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal”. The movie will be distributed through Hwy 61 Films (after his Bringing It All Back Home Films tanked), and no release date has been set; I would guess 2012, even though I’m basing this on nothing.

It’s silly at this point to complain about the trend that’s been occurring for the past few years in Hollywood of transplanting the acclaimed foreign film into a movie that some people will be able to enjoy because they don’t have to read subtitles. This has been done for some time, as Rashomon was remade as the Paul Newman movie The Outrage in 1964, and Jean-Luc Godard’s classic Breathless was remade as a movie with the same title starring Richard Gere in 1983. Even as recently as this year, Billy Ray is set to write/direct the remake of the foreign Oscar winner The Secret In Their Eyes. Basically, this is a trend that maybe went away for a little while, but it’s back, and we have to get used to it.

What do you think of this, and of remaking foreign films for American audiences in general?

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