For the unlucky who haven’t see it, 13: Game of Death is an incredibly clever Thai movie that features a down-on-his-luck-in-every-aspect-of-his-life guy who agrees to participate in a reality game show using his cell phone. All he has to do is kill a fly. Then perform another task. And another. Thirteen in all, with each becoming more bizarre and threatening than the last. It’s a fantastic exploration of what we’ll do to get money (and the spotlight), and now an English-language remake is moving forward with director Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcist, A Necessary Death).
“What we’re doing with it . . . I’m just so damned proud of this script,” said Stamm who co-wrote the new take with David Birke (who also helped rewrite Last Exorcism and is writing the English-language version of Livid). “[We’re working with] really smart people that are actually excited to take risks, which, if you take on ‐ you know 13 ‐ that’s not a very American audience-friendly movie inherently. It’s very Asian. It’s very dark. It doesn’t really care to make the protagonist a very nice guy to begin with…you have to tweak certain things but to keep the soul alive.”
During an interview for this week’s forthcoming Reject Radio, Stamm discussed the IM Global project that has Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Insidious, Take Shelter) and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activiy, Lawless) producing. One possibility is that it will go to Dimension Films, which makes a bit of sense considering it was Dimension Extreme that released the original in the States.
When it was originally announced late last year, it sounded like an intriguing prospect, but Stamm’s enthusiasm for the script they’ve written buoys the hope even more. There are surface-level elements of movies like Saw involved ‐ particularly a disembodied voice making commands with consequences ‐ but the original is more thriller than horror flick. Like a faster-fueled The Game. At any rate, it’s a great high concept that Stamm seems to have had fun playing around with. Hopefully production will get moving shortly, and the result will be as good as its potential.