Werner Herzog Directing Bad Lieutenant Remake with Nic Cage Starring

May 14, 2008
Source: Variety

Bad Lieutenant

German filmmaker Werner Herzog, known for numerous great films including Rescue Dawn most recently, will next direct an updated Bad Lieutenant remake with Nic Cage starring as The Lieutenant. The original NC-17 rated 1992 film starred Harvey Keitel as a depraved New York police officer who was heavily involved in drugs, gambling, sex and stealing all the while on the job investigating a rape. The new script is being written by Billy Finkelstein, a TV writer known for "Murder One," "Law & Order" and "NYPD Blue." Production is already scheduled to start in late summer, making this Herzog's next film before he begins work on The Piano Tuner.

The original film has a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Hunter Stephenson of SlashFilm praises it, saying Bad Lieutenant is "one of my favorite depictions of New York in film, because the city's garbage and vice seeps into Keitel's character until he’s forced to flush it out and face the consequences. And it may sound sensational, but the movie's recurring theme of faith is like a punch in the gut and quite effective." Definitely sounds like a good film on its own worth anyone's time if they haven't seen it yet, but is a remake really necessary? Especially when all that we seem to see nowadays is remake after remake anyway.

This is undoubtedly a very interesting project. I wouldn't ever imagine Herzog taking on a story like this, especially one with as much debauchery as the original. Plus, Rudy Giuliani really cleaned up New York after 1992 and Nic Cage just doesn't have the same grit (anymore) as Keitel. I can't imagine this would even come close to living up to the original without the same nasty New York that actually existed at that time. If anything, it seems like a financial move to capitalize on a drugged up, violent, sex-filled premise glorified in the right ways to stay in the limits of the MPAA (this time) and make them some extra cash. I could be wrong, but Werner Herzog has to prove to me that his version is worthy.

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How incredibly desperate is Nicolas Cage to get noticed these days? That's the news of this one, not Herzog. Cage's gotten to the point he'll be remaking Caligula in a few years. It's pathetic. It's hard to remember he was once the friggin' king of the box office.

Andrew Wickliffe on May 14, 2008


good god can Nicolas Cage just go crawl in a hole and never come back he is so washed up and desperate these days and i am so sick of seeing him in great roles and just making an entire mess of them. Never saw the original but im thinking is there a point in this remake thats all we see these days cant someone come up with any original stories for them selfs instead just remaking movies after remakes.

Curtis on May 14, 2008


I really hope this is a rumor. There has never been a better example of a movie that doesn't need to be remade.

SmackU on May 14, 2008


I wonder how familiar you are with Herzog's films and not just the reputation of his films. I only mention this because your last paragraph troubles me a great deal. In addition to some unusual assumptions about the film, you question whether Herzog (and the other filmmakers) are making this film to pick up some quick cash and lay on a big dose of sex, drugs, and violence for no particular reason. I cannot speak for the other people involved but none of those things describe Herzog and I think any fan would know this. This filmmaker is not known to go out and earn a quick buck. He wants to make a powerful motion picture. His content is uncompromised, going all the way back to Even Dwarfs Started Small to Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Lessons of Darkness, to his recent work. There is no evidence of a man making "a financial move" to exploit a "drugged-up, violent, sex-filled premise" with a wish to "stay in the limits." Don't take my word for it. Just listen to this Herzog fan: "Without ever making a movie for solely commercial reasons, without ever having a dependable source of financing, without the attention of the studios and the oligarchies that decide what may be filmed and shown..." "I have not seen all your films, and do not have a perfect memory, but I believe you have never made a film depending on sex, violence or chase scenes." These quotes come from Roger Ebert, one of the biggest fans and an early champion of Herzog. (see the full article, a letter to Werner Herzog, here: These quotes are taken from esteemed critic Roger Ebert, a friend and longtime admirer of Herzog who considers him to be one of the best directors working today. For the complete letter Ebert wrote to Herzog. You say that Herzog has to "PROVE to me that his version is worthy". I think if you watch his other works, he has proven that he is a masterful filmmaker and that should be proof enough that he can handle challenging material. his ability to be uncompromising should also be proof (if you don't know what I mean, look up any info you can on the making of Fitzcarraldo.)

Charlie on May 14, 2008


Here's to Charlie, I was just about to say some of the same things. Herzog is a master.

Simon on May 14, 2008


Am I the only one who DOESN'T HATE (nor really like particularly) Cage? Granted GHOST and WICKER sucked.

Ryan on May 14, 2008


why in the fuck are they doing this...and with Cage. I'd love to see how they'll make him jerk off on a car door or stand completely naked loosing his mind. And besides, it's only 1992 for christ sake. Let's just remake The Matrix, oh and Die Hard and fucking Iron Man and everything else that came out in the past 5 years. THIS BUSINESS OF MOVIES IS BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!

wm on May 15, 2008


I threw up, cried, found jesus and prayed, and aparently this is still true, so now I am going to kill myself. I can only hope for then end of the world to come before this happens

avon on May 15, 2008


i find what herzog takes interest in interesting in itself, isnt that interesting. grizzly man came out of left field i really hadnt understood it until i saw the film and i thought that werner had really illustrated the person without dipping into the cookie jar of making the film for the masses if you look at what penn did with into the wild and compare it to grizzly man, penn comes off looking MTv'ish. there is no foxification in werner herzog which is why i'd see this film because its got nick cage who is wayyyyyyy mainstream and it has an underworld theme in it i think this is just a pefect fit for director/story wernzog can touch a reality i dont htink anyone else would because the guys infatuatied with it. cage makes stupid movies but the guy is an icon (i hate that too but its true)

Jont on May 23, 2008


Note that the editor is Joe Bini, recent winner of Sundance Fesitval's Best Editor of a Documentary for his work on an upcoming documentary on Roman Polanski. Joe Bini was Mr. Herzog's film editor on Rescue Dawn, Grizzly Man, and numerous other well-received films.

Elia on Jul 17, 2008


hahahahaha you idiots Except for the 3 guys who knew what they were talking about... none of you have ever even seen a Herzog movie. I have no idea what to expect from this guy anymore he is extremely eccentric and loves messing with my mind apparently. I want to see it just because of the hilarious combination of terrible movie and terrible actors. In the next episode, our hero Werner Herzog picks washed up actor names out of a hat and uses a monkey's favorite movie as a canvas for his next challenge. Let's watch!

jerkface on Jul 18, 2008

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