Mike Nichols Remaking Akira Kurosawa's High and Low
by Alex Billington
October 29, 2008
Filmmaker Mike Nichols, of Closer and Charlie Wilson's War most recently, will direct a remake of Akira Kurosawa's High and Low, a 1963 detective thriller starring Toshiro Mifune. The script was written by David Mamet, who was originally commissioned by Martin Scorsese to write this remake back in 1999, but it took over two years for producer Scott Rudin to get all the rights they needed. Miramax is now finalizing the production details on this remake, although a start date hasn't been set just yet nor has casting begun. Although this is already a Kurosawa classic, it seems like the perfect story for a modern remake.
High and Low deals with a tough morality issue. Businessman Kingo Gondo learns that his son has been kidnapped and that the ransom demanded is near the amount that he has raised for a critical business deal. He is prepared to pay the ransom - that is, until he learns that the kidnappers have mistakenly abducted not his own son, but the child of his driver. Now he must decide whether the other man's child is equally worth saving. The story is actually based on Ed McBain's novel "King's Ransom" and sounds like a fascinating concept for a thriller. I'm actually very excited to see what Mamet and Nichols will do with this.