Adi Shankar

Magnet Releasing

Here’s the thing. It’s fashionable to bash remakes from their very first announcement as unnecessary and doomed to failure, but there have been more than enough good (and even great) ones to know that’s just dumb. No remake, whether good or bad, has the power to alter the original which will always be available to watch and enjoy. Of course, knowing that doesn’t change the knee-jerk reaction you feel when a particularly fantastic foreign film is snatched up and scheduled for American consumption. Kim Jee-woon‘s deliciously brutal I Saw the Devil has been on the path towards an English-language remake since its release in 2010, but details as to who would actually be involved have been up in the air until now. The Wrap just revealed — and producer Keith Calder confirmed via Twitter — that the team behind You’re Next and the recent The Guest will be writing and directing the film. Adam Wingard will direct from Simon Barrett‘s script, and while we’re still more than a year away from a finished product there’s reason to feel both excited and concerned… while still remembering that Kim’s original will always be here regardless.

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news remake i saw the devil

Hollywood remaking foreign-language films isn’t anything new, and countries as diverse as France, Japan, and Iceland have all seen their movies adapted, for better or worse, through an American lens. South Korea is a relatively new inductee into the bunch with only a handful of their films getting the Hollywood treatment leading up to this year’s much maligned Spike Lee redo of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy. 2006’s The Lake House was the first U.S. remake of a Korean film (based on Il Mare), and it was followed by a forgettable romantic comedy (My Sassy Girl) and a trio of horror films including Mirrors (Into the Mirror), The Uninvited (A Tale of Two Sisters), and Possession (Addicted). And that’s it… for now. Per The Wrap, the latest Korean film to be slated for Hollywood reincarnation is Kim Jee-woon‘s brutally uncompromising and wickedly good I Saw the Devil (my review). Remake rights have been acquired by 1984 Private Defense Contractors which is headed up by Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna. The production company’s past films include The Grey, Dredd, Killing Them Softly, and others, which is a bit of a confidence booster, but what to make of the following comment from Shankar?

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vinson

If producer Adi Shankar really intends on making an action movie that brings together all of the toughest females in the industry, eventually he’s going to have to come up with a better title for it than Adi Shankar’s Female Expendables Project, but for now that seems to be all we have to work with, so we shall do our best. Anyway, what are the details of this project? So far Shankar is said to have a script from writer Dutch Southern, casting confirmations from MMA athlete-turned-actress Gina Carano and Battlestar Galactica vet Katee Sackhoff, and now another signed deal with an up and coming actress who turned quite a few heads in theaters just this weekend. According to a report from Collider, Australian actress and You’re Next star Sharni Vinson is the latest name to sign on to kick ass while having lady parts in this still-untitled ripoff of Sylvester Stallone’s high-concept old man porn.

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Last year it was Thomas Jane returning as Frank Castle in short film form to show how the character can be done bone-bendingly right. This year, producer Adi Shankar has teamed with none other than Joe Lynch (!) to deliver another solid take on an iconic comic book figure. Ryan Kwanten verbally tap dances his way through Truth in Journalism as Eddie Brock, a reporter with a particular affliction and an ax to grind against your friendly neighborhood hero. With the similar snap of Man Bites Dog, Eddie has allowed a French film crew to document his morbid daily life. In under 14 minutes, they’ve righted the wrongs of Spider-Man 3, and you’ll probably want to stick around after the credits.

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Gina Carano in Haywire

According to Variety, Gina Carano has signed onto an untitled, script-less movie that was borne entirely from the middleweight success of two action flicks. Whether or not the “Female Expendables” concept-turned-movie ever gets made, we’re in a unique position to watch a strange film animal being nurtured in the wild. Granted, producer Adi Shankar is no slouch despite being new to the game. He’s got his name (and his company 1984 Private Defense Contractors) on action from The Grey to Killing Them Softly to the new Dredd. It’s merely that this entire project is a movie poster without a movie. It’s the very definition of piggybacking on a trend. Plus, it has a long way to go to assemble a solid group of female action stars. Carano is a good, and obvious, start, but the road is long even from here. Especially considering that the hook/gimmick of The Expendables was that it brought together a handful of “classic” stars with a handful of rising action talent. Ensuring they can do the same without the Y-chromosome will prove to be a serious challenge.

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