Paul Walker to Lead American Remake of Pierre Morel's 'District B13'
Though American audiences know director Pierre Morel for making Liam Neeson a certified bad-ass again in Taken, before that, the French filmmaker worked in his homeland for the Paris-set action thriller Banlieue 13 (or rather District B13 here in the United States). Now Morel will see his film in a new way as Deadline reports Paul Walker is in talks to star in Brick Mansions, an American remake of the aforementioned French film which features some of the most stunning and acrobatic actions sequences that have graced the big screen in a long time. Thankfully some of the original talent is returning for the remake.
Luc Besson, who co-wrote the original 2004 film, will script the remake with The Transporter franchise scribe Robert Mark Kamen. In addition, the French film's star David Belle, who also starred in the sequel District 13: Ultimatum, will co-star alongside Walker. That's some good news at least for the action side of things since Belle did many of his own stunts, not to mention being credited with creating parkour, the method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed, agility and efficiency which is very much prominent in Morel's original film and the sequel.
The remake moves from Paris, France to some big American city, it sounds like Chicago will be the ultimate choice, with Walker playing an undercover detective chasing a weapon of mass destruction that was stolen by a drug dealer in the ghetto known as Brick Mansions. But in order to track him down, the detective must seek the help of Lino (Belle) an incredibly agile man who knows Brick Mansions better than anyone and is the only person not cowering in fear of the resident drug dealers. Sounds like what you would expect from an American remake, but I'm not sure it will capture what made the original import so great.
Walker's a proven action star, even if he's not the greatest actor, so it only makes sense to bring him in for a remake like this. In addition, he has time to shoot the film before heading off to the production of The Fast and the Furious 6. As for the directing side of things, Morel got his big break with the original film, and so the director is looking to a protégé of his but Europa Corp wouldn't give a name at the time of this news breaking. This will likely be a film amongst sales at the American Film Market net month since a distribution deal hasn't yet been made, so stay tuned as more information becomes available. Interested?