Chris Rock is writing and starring in a remake of the 2007 British comedy, Death at a Funeral. A film that came out just last year, was directed by an American (Frank Oz), had pretty good exposure here in the US, and is already in English. Per Variety:
Plan is for an ensemble comedy about a funeral ceremony that leads to the digging up of shocking family secrets, as well as misplaced cadavers and indecent exposure. While the original was set in Britain, the new film will take place in an urban American setting.
Not surprisingly, this sounds like a bad idea, but probably not for the reason you think. I don’t have a problem with remakes. People complain that they ruin the original, but that’s not true… the original film is still available for you to watch and enjoy whenever you choose. This is a bad idea because Chris Rock is no good as a feature film star. Cameos sure, voice work in animated films okay, but starring roles? He’s a terrible actor, and his movies make no money. Look at the last four movies where he played a major role… I Think I Love My Wife, Head of State, Bad Company, Down to Earth… all shitty bombs. Rock should stick to smaller roles and stand-up.
Even aside from Rock’s acting abilities, you just don’t see a lot of British movies get remade in the US. TV shows are imported all the time, with varying degrees of success, but movies? There have been remakes of older British films like Get Carter and The Italian Job, but why remake a recent one? They’re usually already visible to American film-goers and they’re already in English!
Do you care about this remake? Do you think Chris Rock can act?