Ridley Scott Remaking UK's Red Riding Trilogy for Columbia
by Alex Billington
October 15, 2009
Columbia Pictures announced earlier today via Variety that they've acquired remake rights to the UK TV mini-series known as Red Riding, a trilogy of feature films that have been playing the festival circuit this year. The studio is "negotiating" with Steve Zaillian (Gangs of New York, American Gangster) to write the script and Ridley Scott (Gladiator, American Gangster, Body of Lies) to direct. Zaillian has already been working with Columbia, as he was hired to rewrite the Steven Soderbergh Moneyball script. Both Scott and Zaillian will produce the remake along with Andrew Eaton of Revolutionary Films, who produced the mini.
Alright, so I saw part one of the Red Riding trilogy at the Telluride Film Festival back in September. It's titled 1974 and stars the very talented Andrew Garfield, however, I hated it. I disliked it so much that I walked out of it after the first film and didn't even stick around for the last two, which I later heard weren't much better. The story was very bland, the dialogue was atrocious, it was just an over-hyped made-for-TV boring British feature that I didn't like one bit. Why they're remaking it, I have no clue? I can't see this story being entertaining at all, even if they Americanize it and change some of it. What did Columbia see in this?!
The Red Riding trilogy, which spans 1974, 1980, and 1983, is a study of power and police corruption framed around the investigation of the disappearance of several young girls in West Yorkshire, England. The events in the film are based on real life occurrences as documented in David Peace's novels. Zaillian and Scott will not only be moving the setting from England to the US, but will be condensing the storyline (that spans five hours and three films in the original) into one film for Hollywood. That's definitely going to make an already bad story even worse. IFC Films is releasing Red Riding in theaters this fall, check it out if you're interested.