Eva Mendes Joins Bad Lieutenant - Herzog Says It's Not a Remake
We previously brought you the news that seasoned German filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) would be remaking the debaucherous 1992 flick Bad Lieutenant, with Nic Cage stepping in for Harvey Keitel's original role. As it turns out, Herzog's film will not be a straight-up remake and will be titled Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans instead. Eva Mendes will star, as well, as a character not yet defined. Given the sultry actress' prior roles (like in We Own the Night), one can probably guess the supporting role she'll play - a hot, hanger-on that is at some point victimized (physically or emotionally) by Cage. Herzog himself also chimes in with what we can expect of this Bad Lieutenant.
Herzog told Hollywood Elsewhere that the film "is a completely different story in the same sense as the last James Bond is not a remake of the previous one." I suppose that means that Herzog will still have Cage playing the nameless character - he just goes by "Lieutenant" - but with a totally new storyline. That might make sense, but one has to wonder how much of the source material Herzog will draw from. Bad Lieutenant was originally rated NC-17 due to the gratuitous violence, sex and drug use, for which Keitel was the perfect abuser. Cage will never be as gritty as Keitel, and Herzog seems an unlikely candidate for such dank material. However, the original does have an undercurrent of redemption and Catholicism - a level of complexity which does feel worthy of Herzog.
So what direction might Herzog take the project and how closely will it follow the original? Herzog illuminates things a bit by saying, "There's an interesting screenplay, [and] it's a very, very dark story. It's great because it seems to reflect a side of the collective psyche -- sometimes there are just good times for film noir." Sadly, as with the recently announced Knowing, I feel Cage's projects are destined to only go so deep. Perhaps Herzog can draw a compelling performance out of the 44-year-old washed out actor. Although, if Cage and Mendes' chemistry is anything like it was in the awful Ghost Rider, we're definitely in trouble. Will this Ghost Rider duo damage Herzog's career?