Why?! Neal Moritz Jumps on Remake Rights to Audiard's 'A Prophet'
Another day, another remake. But why this?! Along with the Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D news earlier this week, this news disgusts me. It's being reported by Deadline that Sony Pictures has optioned the rights to remake Jacques Audiard's award winning French prison film A Prophet (Un prophète) for an "English-language" version. Or rather, a bullshit Hollywood-ized, dumbed-down, cheesy-as-hell version. There might be some hope in the right hands, but nope, this is in the hands of producer Neal H. Moritz, my least favorite producer (not exaggerating either) in Hollywood who churns out nothing but garbage almost all year along.
Here are the details on the remake of A Prophet, originally Un Prophète in French, starring Tahar Rahim (Day of the Falcon, The Past) as a lowly prisoner who works his way up the system to become kingpin. Neal Moritz (the Fast & Furious franchise, S.W.A.T., 21 Jump Street, Total Recall, Jack the Giant Slayer, Dead Man Down) and Toby Jaffe are producing at their company Original Film. The reports state no writer or director has been attached yet, meaning this is in the very early stages, but it seems like Moritz and Co have someone in mind and are moving forward. That or they've waited long enough so that when this remake hits theaters, a full six years will have passed since the original. Either way, I'm not looking forward to this at all.
Jacques Audiard's A Prophet premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was one of my favorite films that year. In fact, it's one of the best crime films ever, and deserves all the accolades it received. While it was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, it didn't win. Instead, it won Best Foreign Film at BAFTA and took home nine Caesars (the Oscars of France) including Best Film. It was actor Tahar Rahim's big breakout role. It won the Grand Prix in Cannes, and was my favorite film of the festival that year. I love everything about it, and don't think it can be replicated in Hollywood without ripping out its heart and soul.