Why?! Neal Moritz Jumps on Remake Rights to Audiard's 'A Prophet'

June 5, 2013
Source: Deadline

Jacques 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 proph├Ęte) 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 Proph├Ęte 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.

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Looks like someone never watched The Departed.

Ray Hartley on Jun 5, 2013


You're talking about me? I said "There might be some hope in the right hands, but nope." That had Scorsese directing, William Monahan writing, Graham King producing. This only has Moritz, and his recent remakes speak for my concern: Total Recall, 21 Jump Street, The Green Hornet, Gridiron Gang, I Am Legend, Click, Stealth. Plus, they just can't top A Prophet. They can make it grittier, more badass, with greased up Chris Pine in the lead role, but it's not going to be better than the original, no way. The Departed was the anomaly, it was the odd one out, but I do hope we see more like that than this.

Alex Billington on Jun 5, 2013


Alex, you are 100% right and Ray Hartley, you are 100% wrong. If you are seriously gonna sit there and say that The Departed was a "bad hollywood remake" than my mind is blown...out..of my stupidly big head. Having Moritz attached to this project guarantees they will not cast an actor who best fits the role, but an actor who is "hot". It will be an action film, while a Prophet was so far from an action film. It will have no substance, and barely any style. Alex, you're right in saying if it's in the right hands it could be passable... but it's already in the wrong hands. Infernal affairs going into Scorsese's hands was a blessing.

Alex Williams on Jun 5, 2013


Oh no. I absolutely think that The Departed was great.

Ray Hartley on Jun 5, 2013


How can you say all that about The Prophet remake and honestly not see the exact same thing with The Departed? The Departed had a bunch of "hot" actors and a bloated script which included a completely unnecessary love triangle. Infernal Affairs, the movie The Departed was based on, clocked in at a lean and well paced 1:41. The Departed, bloated as it was, crawled along at 2:21.

axalon on Jun 5, 2013


They were "hot" actors but they chose actors that suited the roles, and that were GOOD actors. Scorsese has the pull to hand pick pretty much any actor he wants. Like I said, IF the movie is placed in the proper hands (off to a bad start) it could have a good chance at being decent. And I never will understand how people can judge a movie on length. It could be 6 hours and it wouldn't make any difference to me (Nor should it to anyone) as long as the story can draw you in.

Alex Williams on Jun 6, 2013


"I never will understand how people can judge a movie on length." I didn't care about it when I was younger as I thought "hey, more movie!" but the older I get the less patience I have for it. If you can't tell a cohesive, *well paced*, story in less than 2:15 then it's time to take another trip to the editing bay. In the case of The Departed they absolutely did not need that love triangle, you can tell that that was added in for American audiences. I'd be wiling to bet that it someone released a version of the movie without it that nobody would even notice. Movies should rarely be clocking in over 2:15, an exception to this would be something like 'Shawshank Redemption' where Darabont was very mindful of pacing.

axalon on Jun 6, 2013


what makes darabonts pacing more mindful then that of scorsese's departed, nolan's dark knight, or come to think of it...the exact film we are talking about... AUDILLARD'S A PROPHET. no film should (and im saying should not COULD, because this is a matter of opinion not fact, as you SHOULD remember) be judged based on length. If a film grabs you, it grabs you and takes you on a ride through it's story. if you think "its too long", then just say "i didnt like it, i found it too long"... not "it went over 2:15, therefore is flawed." thumbs down to your reasoning

Alex Williams on Jun 10, 2013


I see what you're saying. I think I misread your angle. Still though, it's such a decisive criticism to make on a film that hasn't been made yet, despite the producer's track record.

Ray Hartley on Jun 5, 2013


Also... 21 Jump Street and I Am Legend are not awful.

Ray Hartley on Jun 5, 2013


"more like that than this"? Oh, I'm sorry - you've seen the remake already?

txJM on Jun 6, 2013


The company "Original Film". How ironic...

Isildur_of_Numenor on Jun 5, 2013


Was just thinking that! Never saw the original but at least this news has shed light on the original for me. Off to watch that instead.

Mike P. on Jun 5, 2013


Definitely worth a watch.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Jun 5, 2013


According to Audiard, the film was created for political purposes (giving lip service to Arabs in France). Maybe Moritz and Jaffe have another vision in mind for the narrative. Isn't that what art is all about? Or are you saying that the audience is less important than the medium?

txJM on Jun 5, 2013


no one even came close to saying that

Alex Williams on Jun 6, 2013


I'm just reaching for clues, since movie snobs never seem to be able to expound on their inexplicable hate for remakes.

txJM on Jun 6, 2013


i dont hate remakes. far from it. some films should be remade, and some shouldnt. doesnt mean i HATE it. haha and what constitutes a movie snob? just for saying that, anyone could say your a movie snob for "loving" remakes. expound that kubrick.

Alex Williams on Jun 10, 2013


I'm sorry, did you get the impression I was addressing you? Your conscience is being a bit overbearing here.

txJM on Jun 10, 2013


oooooooookay there bud. enjoy white house down xoxo

Alex Williams on Jun 10, 2013


Definitely looking forward to it. By the way: THAT's what makes a movie snob. Since you asked.

txJM on Jun 10, 2013


yaaaaaaaa budddayyyyyyyyy. we could go back and forth forever and ever and ever. EVERYONE is a movie snob. there is no classification for it because if opinions differ, the opposition is a snob. so lets cut the bullshit pissing contest we've unwillingly got ourselves into and just agree to disagree. fair?

Alex Williams on Jun 14, 2013



txJM on Jun 14, 2013


I totally agree Alex. It is one of my fav crime films and does not need to be remade. Audiard is a master and takes so much time crafting his scripts and every frame in his films are stunning. This will be churned out as quickly as possible. This is almost as depressing as learning that they are remaking A Bitter Sweet Life.

I am Jacks DVD on Jun 5, 2013


Neal Moritz doesn't seem to be that bad. He makes Hollywood movies, yes, but bad Hollywood movies? Dead Man Down, 21 Jump Street, and I Am Legend are all above-average films, and in some cases are even good. I think it's totally in the realm of possibility that this film will end up being good. And besides, Producers have very little to do with the quality of a film. I'd see what director is chosen before I start complaining.

Alex on Jun 5, 2013


I never saw the original. Remake away!!! It can't be any worse that the other garbage in the theater lately.

racquetman on Jun 5, 2013


Ugh. Lemme guess, they're going to cast Ryan Reynolds in the lead.

zey on Jun 5, 2013


Moritz is one the BEST producers in the business. Lose the fanboy crap, Billington and realize that not every producer wants to make another 2001.

kLO on Jun 5, 2013


He has the perfect cv to make this work. Why not get Brett Ratner to remake Das Boot while we're at it.

eurogibbon on Jun 6, 2013

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