Danish Ole Bornedal to Helm Dean Koontz's The Husband
by Christopher Campbell
May 21, 2009
Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal is no stranger to Hollywood. Thirteen years ago he remade his own horror film Nightwatch for Dimension Films, and that same year he was a producer on Guillermo del Toro's Mimic. But he didn't stick around much after 1997, returning instead to Europe to make the multinational English-language feature I Am Dina and more Danish films like The Substitute. Now he's finally returning to American cinema for an adaptation of Dean Koontz's 2006 thriller novel The Husband (via Variety), the plot of which seems on the surface to be your everyday, run of the mill kidnap/ransom story (but isn't).
One morning, Southern California gardener Mitchell Rafferty gets a call on his cellphone from a stranger saying that Mitch's beloved wife, Holly, has been kidnapped and that he has less than three days to come up with $2 million in cash. Of course, he's warned not to involve the police. While Mitch is still on the phone, the kidnapper proves his seriousness by directing Mitch's attention to a man walking a dog across the street. A moment later the man is shot dead. Mitch must walk a fine line—cooperating with the police inquiry into this murder without revealing Holly's plight…
Ole Bornedal, who shared screenwriting credit with Steven Soderbergh on the Nightwatch remake, will again get to do what most international directors don't - work on the script. This time he will be working off a draft originally penned by Glenn Gers (Fracture, Mad Money). Because of Bornedal's past Hollywood experience, it's interesting that he's not coming over to help (or even direct) the upcoming remakes of his own The Substitute or Just Another Love Story, both of which are being produced by Sam Raimi. Of course, I've never really understood the appeal to imported auteurs of repeating themselves in this way anyway.
It will be much more exciting (for us and him) to see what Bornedal does with a novel from one of the best-selling authors in America. I've never read The Husband (pick up a copy on Amazon), but from what I can tell from reviews and synopses is that it should be a very intense film. We'll keep you updated on this.