If you ask me, Brian De Palma has been really underperforming over the last decade or so. I think I remember seeing Femme Fatale and The Black Dahlia from him, and that’s about it. When was the last time I was truly excited to see a De Palma film? You’d have to go all the way back to when he worked with Nic Cage on Snake Eyes. Thankfully, the director has a new project in the works, and while it’s not quite as exciting as a re-pairing with Nic Cage, it does sound appropriately ridiculous.
This time he’s working on a remake of a Burt Reynolds movie, with Jason Statham in the Burt Reynolds role. Probably not a lot of people remember 1986’s Heat, because by all accounts it was pretty bad. It’s the type of movie that goes through multiple directors over the course of its production, and then eventually forces the guy who has to take credit for directing to not even use his real name.
Things may not have worked out the first go-round, but it’s exactly these sorts of projects that should be getting remade, or at least that make people least mad when they get remade. Heat is a promising sounding story about a gambling addicted heavy who makes his cash providing protection to high rollers in the seedy underbelly of the gambling world. Everything is going along (not so) fine until a female friend of his is beaten by a big shot mobster, and he gets in over his head seeking revenge. That sounds like a plot that will provide Statham ample opportunity to scowl and kick people, so I’m on board. Just because it didn’t work back in ’86 doesn’t mean it’s not going to work now.
And hopefully it will work, at least for the sake of William Goldman, who wrote the book this script was based off of, as well as the original Reynolds-starring film, as well as this De Palma-helmed remake. That’s probably the most work anybody has ever put into writing a Jason Statham movie, so this guy is deserving of a pretty big pay day. [Deadline Fort Leonard Wood]