Turn Away at Once to Avoid Hearing About the Don’t Look Now Remake

By  · Published on April 29th, 2015

Paramount Pictures

Remakes are so common now that it takes a certain sort of movie to get the internet moaning with literal discomfort. Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now is apparently one of those sorts of movies, as news of a redo today has cut people deep. This isn’t just another enamored ’80s movie seemingly deserving protection because it’s a part of our childhoods. This is not just a beloved movie. It’s a great one.

And what makes it great can be copied, as in the case of the sex scene homage in Out of Sight, but not remade. Unless it were shot-for-shot, edit-for-edit, emotion-for-emotion, and then what’s the point? And it still wouldn’t be the same, anyway. I’m the biggest defender of remakes in general, but I can’t make a case for this, and not because I’m a fan or care that much. I just don’t see a how or a why this time.

The only value is in the news itself, as a notion to joke about, as nearly everyone has – that the title speaks for itself regarding the remake – and then forget its ever happening.

We’ll see if it ever does continue beyond the announcement stage. Not all threatened remakes are delivered. The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, notes that “the producers and company are looking to follow a similar game plan they worked with their remake of Escape from New York.” The thing is, that remake doesn’t exist yet, so for now the reference says little for the Don’t Look Now remake.

Those producers and company are Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman (both of Non-Stop) and Picture Company, plus StudioCanal. It’s unclear if they’re actually looking to the Roeg film as a source or the original short story by Daphne du Maurier. She loved the adaptation, even though it made a number of changes to the story, most notably leaving out the line the title comes from.

Rona and Heineman could be interested in another go at the original material, which has been already been adapted again twice since the 1973 film, but one was a radio program and the other was a stage play. That might be interesting. A remake of the film itself is not.

For a great read on the opening of Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, check out Landon Palmer’s dissection from earlier this year.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.