British director Stephen Frears, best known for The Queen, High Fidelity and The Grifters, is re-teaming with producer Jeremy Thomas and writer Peter Prince to remake their 1984 gangster road flick The Hit. [Variety]

The original starred John Hurt and Tim Roth as a pair of incompetent hitmen hired to track down an informer – Terence Stamp – at his Spanish hideout and haul him back to Paris to be executed. Everything goes completely wrong, of course. The remake is in its very early stages of development and, says Thomas, will relocate the action to Mexico and the United States.

“The idea is to make it as an American movie about an American gangster, to tell the story against the backdrop of the land of cinema,” Thomas said.

It’s not at all unusual for a filmmaker to remake his own film for an American audience; Alfred Hitchcock did it several times, Michael Haneke remade his own Funny Games (also starring Roth), and George Sluizer directed the Hollywood remake of his own The Vanishing. In almost every instance, however, the American version is inferior to the original. I haven’t seen Frears’s The Hit, but he is a filmmaker who consistently comes through with smart, engaging entertainment. This one may live or die on the casting decisions, since it’ll be tough to top the original’s band of veteran Brit scenery-munchers, but it’s too early to tell.

Have you seen The Hit? What do think of Frears directing this remake?

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