John Woo Still Wants to Remake Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Le Samourai'
Over two years ago, director John Woo (and filmmaker John Hillcoat) was linked to a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's classic 1970 neo-noir Le Cercle Rouge (which translates to The Red Circle). However, Woo was also working on a remake of one of Melville's other revered films. Now Die Welt (via The Film Stage) has learned that Woo is still looking to remake Le Samourai, the 1976 film which followed hitman Jef Costello who flubs his assignment to kill a night club owner by leaving one interesting key witness, a charming female jazz singer. Things get interesting when she neglects to ID him as a suspect.
Though Costello's problems aren't over as his employers attempt to assassinate him, the cops are in hot pursuit and he has to prepare one last hit. Woo says, "the script is currently being worked on in Hollywood," so we're not sure how likely it is that the film will actually get made. However, the film will apparently be shot in English and Woo has been eyeing Berlin as a shooting location, different from the original film's Paris setting. Apparently German funding played a role in that decision, but also Berlin was apparently not satisfied with its current status as a city, and that made the setting a bit more appealing somehow.
When this possibility was first brought up a couple years ago, I was completely against it. Le Samourai is one of my favorite foreign films, especially in the French noir arena, and it just doesn't need to be touched. Woo's career is a little too hit or miss (from slop like Paycheck and Mission: Impossible 2 to gems like Red Cliff and Face/Off) to make this an exciting prospect. If anything, it'd be nice if a remake drew more eyes to the original film which is quintessential film school viewing, but for now, I'm hoping Woo gets busy with other projects instead of this remake. Thoughts?