Christopher Nolan's 'Memento' is Being Remade by AMBI Pictures
by Alex Billington
November 16, 2015
Another day, another remake. This time it's another movie that just doesn't need to be remade, and may be hitting too close to home for some. Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi's AMBI Pictures have officially announced a remake of Christopher Nolan's 2000 thriller Memento, starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss. It's one of many films ("400 additional critical hits, commercial blockbusters and cult favorites") that AMBI acquired in picking up the Exclusive Media Group film library. They claim in the press release that the remake will "stay true to Christopher Nolan’s vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic and award-worthy as the original." Okay. But the question always is: do we really need this?
This Memento remake is the first feature production as part of the launch of AMBI's new $200 million film fund. Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino are anchor investors in the fund along with New York based private equity firm Raven Capital Management LLC. The original film was written and directed by Nolan and helped launch his career, earning him the chance to make Insomnia at Warner Bros. The film follows Guy Pearce as a man trying to track down the person who raped and murdered his wife. However, he has a rare form of memory loss, only able to remember the last 15 minutes. The film is especially unique with a narrative that unfolds in two different sequences that eventually connect at the end. From the press release:
Said Iervolino, "'Memento' has been consistently ranked as one of the best films of its decade. People who’ve seen 'Memento' 10 times still feel they need to see it one more time. This is a quality we feel really supports and justifies a remake. The bar is set high thanks to the brilliance or Christopher Nolan, but we wouldn’t want it any other way."
Iervolino added, "Our acquisition of the EMG library reinforced our commitment to build a strong global studio with a strong pipeline of commercial films that can play to a worldwide audience. Bringing a new ‘Memento’ to audiences is an initial example of how we intend to execute this strategy."
No matter what they say, this still doesn't seem like a good idea. Remake one of Christopher Nolan's most unique films? I guess it was 15 years ago. Sure, it's not the most popular of Nolan's movies but it definitely has a following even nowadays. I'm intrigued to see what happens with this remake - mostly who they hire to write and direct, and how it will be different. I can't imagine they'll repeat the exact same intertwining storyline as seen in the original? If they do, then what's the point of the remake? Surely there's some other way to tell a twisted, kind of story-in-reverse like this. Again, it all comes down to who they hire to direct.
In the press release, it also mentions that AMBI took ownership of "other titles" including this list: Begin Again, Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko, End of Watch, Ides of March, Hit & Run, The Mexican, Parkland, Rush, Sliding Doors, Snitch, Undefeated and The Way Back. What I hope is that this is not a preliminary list of titles they hope to remake/revisit sometime soon, because most of these should be left alone. Donnie Darko - don't touch it, please. Then again, the state of Hollywood these days is pretty dire, and all we're seeing are remakes and reboots and franchises restarts, so why not toss in a few more. Your thoughts?