Werner Herzog Directing Bad Lieutenant Remake with Nic Cage Starring
German filmmaker Werner Herzog, known for numerous great films including Rescue Dawn most recently, will next direct an updated Bad Lieutenant remake with Nic Cage starring as The Lieutenant. The original NC-17 rated 1992 film starred Harvey Keitel as a depraved New York police officer who was heavily involved in drugs, gambling, sex and stealing all the while on the job investigating a rape. The new script is being written by Billy Finkelstein, a TV writer known for "Murder One," "Law & Order" and "NYPD Blue." Production is already scheduled to start in late summer, making this Herzog's next film before he begins work on The Piano Tuner.
The original film has a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Hunter Stephenson of SlashFilm praises it, saying Bad Lieutenant is "one of my favorite depictions of New York in film, because the city's garbage and vice seeps into Keitel's character until he’s forced to flush it out and face the consequences. And it may sound sensational, but the movie's recurring theme of faith is like a punch in the gut and quite effective." Definitely sounds like a good film on its own worth anyone's time if they haven't seen it yet, but is a remake really necessary? Especially when all that we seem to see nowadays is remake after remake anyway.
This is undoubtedly a very interesting project. I wouldn't ever imagine Herzog taking on a story like this, especially one with as much debauchery as the original. Plus, Rudy Giuliani really cleaned up New York after 1992 and Nic Cage just doesn't have the same grit (anymore) as Keitel. I can't imagine this would even come close to living up to the original without the same nasty New York that actually existed at that time. If anything, it seems like a financial move to capitalize on a drugged up, violent, sex-filled premise glorified in the right ways to stay in the limits of the MPAA (this time) and make them some extra cash. I could be wrong, but Werner Herzog has to prove to me that his version is worthy.