Category Archives: Remakes

Forgettable 21st Century remakes of 20th Century cinema


Fame  footloose

A sub-section of 21st century cinema that fascinates me is the remake of a revered/classic film that is considered to be so insipid that a year or two after they’re made it’s as if they don’t exist and the original still thrives.
Below are six standout examples from this century. I haven’t seen any of these remakes so the comments below aren’t my views on it, just an assessment on what the general consensus was on them:

The Omen (2006) – The 1976 horror film was considered a classic of its time and remaking it 30 years on was an ambitious task. But it was backed by a smart marketing campaign which made explicit use of its opening date being 06/06/06. And it had a strong cast, with Mia Farrow in one of her rare post-Woody film roles being particularly noteworthy. But critics were disappointed (27% on RT) and despite it being a modest financial success it was completely unsuccessful in matching (let alone eclipsing) the memory of the original

Fame (2009) – In its capturing the spirit and liveliness of young aspiring New York artists, the original 1980 musical became a defining film of its era (and led to a successful TV series). A remake in 2009 seemed potentially rewarding and even had the curio value of TV’s Frasier & Lilith (Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth) both playing prominent roles in the film. Alas, a bad sign was that it was rated PG which stood in contrast to the original film which was quite rough and brutal at times. And the general consensus was it was a bland and plastic remake which would be soon forgotten, which it was.

Fright Night (2011) – The 1985 vampire original had been a surprise popular and critical success. It seemed an odd choice for a remake as the original’s semi-spoof, self-aware, humourous style still made it seem fresh today. Was there an audience for a modern remake of a horror film that still felt modern? As it turned out, No. Despite decent reviews, the Fright Night remake barely made any money anywhere, not even finishing in the Top 5 in its opening weekend in America despite an aggressive marketing campaign.

Footloose (2011) – The 1984 original became a iconic film of its era thanks in no small part to its famous Kenny Loggins title track. In truth it’s a pretty silly film and a remake seemed like a good chance to improve on it, especially when it was helmed by Craig Brewer who’d had notable success with ‘Hustle & Flow’. Alas, despite generally positive reviews the public didn’t warm to it (as a check of the IMDB user reviews shows) and it made little impression. Perhaps people were too affectionate towards the original to accept a remake.

Poltergeist (2015) – For decades the debate over whether the 1982 Tobe Hooper horror film was in fact actually directed by Executive Producer Steven Spielberg has been a fascination for many. Indeed just a few weeks ago a crew member on the film stated that Spielberg in fact directed it.

One thing this recent batch of stories don’t have to mention; that they’re talking about the 1982 version and not the 2015 remake because that’s been forgotten already. Despite being produced by Sam Raimi and having talents like Sam Rockwell & Jared Harris appear in it, the film was critically panned and audiences probably would’ve cared more if it had actually been a documentary about answering the Hooper/Spielberg mystery.

Ben Hur (2016) – Probably the most foolhardy of this list, it was impossible to see how this could ever be a success. For one thing, remaking one of the most iconic Hollywood films of the 20th century is just asking for trouble. Especially when helmed by director Timur Bekmambetov who it’s fair to say doesn’t quite have the reputation of a William Wyler. Also, biblical/Roman epics were hardly box-office gold in 2010s cinema.

The biggest giveaway to this film’s impending doom is the YouTube trailer clip which actually has more dislikes than likes for it. One user observed it as ‘Fast And Furious A.D.’

And to the surprise of no one, the film was not only a critical disaster but a financial one as well as it searched for an audience that wasn’t there and was one of the biggest flops of its year. Amongst the plethora of bad decisions MGM has made in recent decades, this would be one of the worst.


Review: War of the Worlds (2005)


wotw (warning: contains spoilers)

I first saw Steven Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds when it was first released in 2005. Critical response hadn’t been great and star Tom Cruise’s antics while doing publicity were creating a negative aura around it. But I generally enjoyed it although my only vivid memory of it over the years was a scene of throwing a baseball between Cruise and his son that leads to a broken window.

As the years marched on, it’s reputation seems to be cemented as one of Spielberg’s lesser films, a missed opportunity that magnified his weaknesses (especially for the relatively upbeat ending which many critics felt was misguided). Having not seen the film in over a decade, I decided to watch it again the other day and see how it has held up.

This version of WOTW has Cruise playing crane operator Ray Ferrier who is divorced and estranged from his children. While his children are visiting, unusual weather patterns signal something is awry and when an invading alien force arises in the local town, it begins to incinerate most of the nearby humans. Ray and his family escape but with a seemingly unstoppable alien force devastating society, how will they survive?

The startling thing I found watching the film this time is how grim and depressing it is; even in this present day of big-budget films often being cynical and downbeat, WOTW is a particularly harrowing film to take at times.

Undoubtedly the most striking aspect of the film is in the first half when the aliens start to attack the general population. Spielberg manages to genuinely convey the horror of an unstoppable superior force wiping out human lives in an instant, especially through random individuals being turned to dust. It makes one think of the endless modern wars humanity has suffered and the countless lives wasted by an unstoppable military power. Later scenes which briefly show humans being harvested by aliens for their blood and matter-of-factly rummaging through personal human belongings further underline that.

When the focus shifts to Cruise and his family in the film’s second half, the film loses a some of its impact (although still reasonably effective) because it feels a bit misguided and redundant. While perhaps inevitable under conventional narrative structure, WOTW would’ve been a powerful if it had a broader scope and focussed on the whole fate of humanity.

And it’s the prime reason for the most criticised aspect of WOTW – namely the final scene where not Ray returns his daughter to her mother (curiously in a part of town unscathed by alien attacks) and his seemingly dead son returns unscathed. The critical consensus seemed to be that the finale was too positive and unlikely considering the devastation that had occurred previously. I think this criticism is valid to an extent but the seeds for it are laid in the decision the film makes to move its focus from society getting attacked by the aliens to primarily Cruise and family being attacked. Once the film chooses that path, the final scene is inevitable.

Another criticism of the film was that Cruise as a working-class parent (albeit a divorced one) was unconvincing. It is true that this is a very atypical role for him (even now he’s still playing individualistic action heroes) and he doesn’t seem a natural fit for such a role. But that sense of awkwardness actually works in the film’s favour because Cruise’s character has clearly been a poor parent (and husband) that even his own kids are reluctant to call him Dad.

And the underlying theme of the story is how Cruise’s character matures in the most heinous situation possible and becomes the strong parent that he would never have been without the alien invasion. When you factor in all the physicality required for the role, Cruise in the role makes sense and he generally does a good job with it.

Apart from Cruise, there isn’t a chance for many other actors to make an impression. One of them is Dakota Fanning as Ray’s daughter who starts off as one of those know-it-all pre-teener who only seem to exist in the movies and then, when the aliens attack, becoming understandably hysterical at the fear and horror that is surrounding her. Perhaps the filmmakers made her character a self-assured preteen to outline how useless this attitude is in real life? In anycase, while there seemed to be criticism of how hysterical her character was that seemed far more believable than the early scenes.

Another performance of note is Tim Robbins who plays a disturbed individual whose residence Ray and his daughter hide out with for a brief period of time. What’s most effective about his character (helped by Robbins’ whose perfectly cast in the role) is that he has that uneasy mix of being seemingly perceptive one minute, then clearly disturbed the next minute. Eventually it becomes clear that he’s someone who can’t be trusted, leading to a grim realisation from Ray about what must be done.

Overall, WOTW holds up as a generally impressive experience. It misses the potential for greatness by not looking at the big picture of how such an alien invasion would impact humanity on a grand scale and instead focussing on the small beer of the fate of one family, but it’s a fine film and an undervalued work in Spielberg’s career.

The worst type of film to see at the cinema


I have seen many films at the cinema over the years, but I don’t regard my worst experience as necessarily associated with the lowest-standard films I’ve seen there.

For example, the 2009 film ‘Love and Other Drugs’ is one of the worst films I’ve seen at the cinema in recent years – possibly ever – and was painful to sit through. But in its own way it was so insultingly bad that at least it provided a vivid demonstration in my mind of what bad modern filmmaking is.

Similarly, back in 2003 I went to see Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ and was so repelled and repulsed by it that I haven’t bothered to watch any of his films since. But as much as I hated that film, it certainly left a vivid impression on me (something that Quentin probably would be quite satisfied by).

I think the worst film experience to have is to see a film and for it to virtually evaporate from the memory the instant you leave the cinema. In some quarters that’s promoted as an acceptable cinema experience but if that’s going to occur, why bother at all? Especially with the ever-increasing cost and effort associated with going to the cinema. Films that leave no impression at all do more to dissipate the passion of going to the cinema than films being churned out like that.

By that criteria, two films I’ve seen at the cinema that I recall (that I can’t really recall actually) stand out.

Bored one day in 2008, I decided to see the the Shia LaBeouf thriller ‘Eagle Eye’. As I recall I thought the film was an OK timewaster but it faded from memory as soon as I left the cinema and now looking back, unless I put great effort in I can remember virtually nothing about it.

Topping that though was when I went to see Tim Burton’s remake of ‘Planet of the Apes’ in 2001. Being a major fan of the original POTA (and even the first two sequels to a lesser extent), I eagerly anticipated this one and was majorly disappointed. It wasn’t terrible, but it was a waste of time and despite a “twist ending”, the film dissipated from my mind not long afterwards and now I have virtually no substantial memory of it. And considering the iconic nature of the original film, that’s even more unforgivable than making a memorably misguided remake.

Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ is hardly the worst film I’ve seen at the cinema. But it is the most insignificant and irrelevant, and imo there’s nothing worse for a film to be than that

Like begging for sex


Begging you to like me

Very confident marketing!  Maybe if you released more than three stills and, say, a trailer for one of your big summer tentpoles PRIOR to release that might help publicize things a little better.

Incidentally, I’ve heard through the grapevine that the film is shaping up to be surprisingly decent.   It just seems like the studio might be trying to get a handle on the campaign, which is understandable (as it’s a bit of a tough sell).

Source: Total Recall Facebook Page

Review: The Runaways


I know a guy who got Joan Jett to autograph his arm, and he then had a tattoo artist permanently etch it into his skin. I thought this was a perfectly rational and reasonable thing to do. After all, who is cooler than Joan Jett? The Runaways, written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, chronicles the brief and tempestuous life of Jett’s first band, and though Jett’s post-Runaways success is the only reason why the band is remembered today, her character floats on the periphery of the action, teasing us while telling a much more conventional story.

The story arc of The Runaways is that of Cherie Currie’s. The film was based on her memoir, Neon Angel. And it’s certainly true that she provided the drama of the Runaways brief existence, as she lived the standard VH1: Behind the Music template–plucked from obscurity, playing grimy gigs, hitting it big, and then spiralling into a haze of drugs. But all the while Currie’s story unspooled, I kept savoring the moments about Jett, and wanted to see more.

Jett is an executive producer of the film, so her input must have been significant. Perhaps, that is the reason that all mentions of her home life are absent. We only see her–a sexually ambiguous teenager who worships Suzi Quatro– taking a guitar lesson and being told that girls don’t play electric guitar. In a scene that seems too coated with pixie dust to believe she runs into record producer Kim Fowley at a club and tells him she wants to put together an all-girl band. On the spot he matches her with a girl drummer, and before long they have found Currie, who Fowley sees as a “little bit Bowie, a little bit Bardot” to be the sexy lead singer. Fowley, vividly played by Michael Shannon, is a slimy oddball who sees an opportunity to put together a band of jail-bait (Fowley is now a DJ for satellite radio, and coincidentally his show was on my radio as I drove home from the theater. He seems just as strange now as he was then).

Fowley may be a scumbag, but the girls take his best advice and harness an attitude–he tells them it’s not about “women’s lib, but women’s libido.” In another scene that seems to good to be true, he and Jett write the band’s only hit, “Cherry Bomb,” in about five minutes. They get a record contract and are a smash, but things get strained when Currie is marketed as a sex symbol. We get a variation on the time-worn rock movie line: “It was supposed to be about the music, not about your crotch!”

Though the script has all the cliches I ended up enjoying this film. True, I got bored about halfway through, but eventually I was won over, mostly because I liked being absorbed into the world of the seventies. Sigismondi and her cinematographer, costume designer and art director have created a palpable world, whether it’s the grungy clubs, the pathetic trailer park, or the feathered hair and platformed sandals. When Currie, in a moment of inspired futility, participates in her school’s talent contest by lip-synching to a Bowie song, I was right there, flashing back. The Runaways is a valentine to rock and roll and its excesses, and anyone who doesn’t like or understand rock music would be completely lost.

Finally, I want to mention the two starring performances. Dakota Fanning is Currie, and she’s terrific, although I must admit feeling uneasy about this young lady, who has been in films since she was not much more than a toddler, being so sexual. But she takes the cliched character and makes it her own. Kristen Stewart is Jett, and I was thrilled to see her display some of the charisma she’d shown before her superduper-stardom from the Twilight films. I had begun to wonder if Stewart could act at all, but she convinced me here, perfectly capturing Jett’s look, sound, and demeanor, even in the way she hunches her shoulders, as if she’s always playing guitar, even when she isn’t carrying one.

Edge of Darkness


If you have seen the previews (any of them) or are familiar with the original BBC miniseries from 1985 (I was not) you know that in Edge of Darkness the lead character’s (Boston detective Craven – played by Mel Gibson) daughter Emma is gunned down at the outset. The rest of the story involves the father trying to figure out if he or his daughter was really the true target, who did it and why did they do it. This is a return of sorts to the style of character and movie we were used to seeing Gibson in 20+ years ago so watching him in this film is certainly comfort food in that regard. Parallels will immediately be drawn to Taken, Ransom, Man On Fire and a host of other kidnap/murder revenge thrillers but I do think this one can stand slightly apart.

We are never given the history of the relationship between father and daughter and we never find out what happened to the mother or if she was ever around. The only backstory we have is that Craven constantly flashes back to his daughter as a 4-year old and imagines her still as that innocent little girl. This is a common attribute of loving fathers and is often played simultaneously for laughs and sentimentality (Steve Martin’s imaginings in Father of the Bride come to mind) but is oddly eerie at times in this film as Craven occasionally converses with his adult daughter’s disembodied voice. I’m not quite sure if it works but it can certainly be chalked up to the trauma he has just experienced. Certainly he had years of drawings, notes, crafts, gifts, vacations, experience, etc. with his daughter and the prospect of Emma’s life being just a memory would be enough to mentally and emotionally break him completely.

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Ghost in the Shell 3D live-action remake


From Variety

DreamWorks has acquired rights to the Japanese manga “Ghost in the Shell” with plans to adapt the futuristic police thriller as a 3-D live-action feature.

Created by Masamune Shirow, “Ghost in the Shell” was first published in 1989. It went on to generate two additional manga editions, three anime film adaptations, an anime TV series and three videogames. The second anime film, “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence,” was released in the U.S. by DreamWorks in 2004.

Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul of Seaside Entertainment are attached to produce and brought the project to the studio. Jamie Moss has been tapped to pen the adaptation.

Universal and Sony were also chasing “Ghost in the Shell,” but Steven Spielberg took personal interest in the property and made it happen at DreamWorks.

” ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is one of my favorite stories,” Spielberg said. “It’s a genre that has arrived, and we enthusiastically welcome it to DreamWorks.”

DreamWorks prexy of production Adam Goodman said “Ghost in the Shell” is a property “that epitomizes 3-D live-action motion picture possibilities.”

Moss’ writing credits include “Street Kings,” which bowed Friday, and “Last Man Home,” in development at Universal.

I love the original Ghost in the Shell anime film. Love the manga almost as much. The sequel, the spin-off series, the games, not as much. The original, though, love it. It’s the perfect marriage of techno-thriller, science-fiction, philosophy, introspection, dazzling animation and blazing action. It’s a fucked-up film that requires at least two full seeings to even get a grip on the plot and it still manages to hold my interest after half a dozen viewings.

So this getting a remake should on the surface upset me as much as Ikiru getting remade, but it doesn’t. I could argue that it’s an action film, an animated one at that, and that giving it a 3D remake might make it look even more spiffy than it has before. It’s not an affecting film like Ikiru is, but more about the visuals and ideas. Also, it’s been so franchised already, without the original hurting from it, that remaking probably won’t hurt it anyway.

I could argue all this, but that wouldn’t be the real reason. The reason all this is okay with me is buried in the article, when Spielberg says ” ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is one of my favorite stories.” Me and Stevie, you see, we know good films when we see them.

Funny Games


Written and directed by Michael Haneke.  Released by Warner Independent Pictures.

Note: A few spoilers, if you want to call them that, ahead.

There are a few different ways to look at Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s new film about sadistic creeps terrorizing a family in their secluded lake house. The most obvious would be to compare it to his German-language version of the same film from 1997, which the new film recreates on a shot-by-shot basis. Having seen both versions (I watched the original on DVD last year, when the new version was still scheduled to be released in 2007), I can render an easy verdict on that score: it’s virtually the same experience. Haneke has changed actors and languages, but virtually nothing else.

And when I say “virtually nothing else”, I mean it. Haneke has filmed the remake on sets that are identical to the house used as the setting in the original film. While the new version is in English instead of German, the dialogue has undergone very few changes other than a minor abridgement here or a colloquialism there. The same music is used, and at the same points of the film. As far as I can recall, even many of the costumes are the same. While the creative merits of this kind of straight reproduction are questionable – more on this in a minute – there’s little question that Haneke is working with tremendous discipline. Even Gus Van Sant, in his shot-by-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho, couldn’t resist tinkering in mostly superfluous ways, but there’s nothing like that happening here. Of course, changing actors seems like a big change, even if all the camera setups and edits remain the same. Yet even this doesn’t yield any significant differences that I could see.

I confess that I don’t understand the reasons behind Haneke’s decision to film in this way. I’ve held off judgment on this score since the project was announced, but I always assumed that there would be some meaningful differences. It seems to be the case, however, that Haneke simply wanted to make the same film, but for a different audience. And in that, I suppose it could be said that he’s succeeded.

Yet all this talk of a remake obscures the issue of the film itself. The original Funny Games was controversial in 1997, and judging by the response of critics to the new film, it’s no less controversial now. Haneke’s stated intention with both films was to provoke audiences into examining their reactions to onscreen violence, and the way he does this is nothing if not heartless, systematically subjecting the family (and the audience) to humiliation, physical suffering, and finally death.

Because of this, a few critics (such as the New York Post‘s Lou Lumenick) have equated the film with films of the “torture porn” genre. As strange as it seems, though, from what I’ve seen of Haneke’s work (besides the two Games, I’ve also seen Time of the Wolf and Caché), a ray of deeply affecting humanism shines through the director’s movies. I may be way, way, out on a limb here, but I think the same is true even here, despite the angry and nihilistic facade that Haneke puts on the film.

Most notably, this manifests itself in Haneke’s decision not to show any of the actual violence on screen. While the threats of violence, and the aftereffects of that violence, can be overwhelming at times, Haneke simply refuses to indulge the audience’s taste for gore. He cuts away, or focuses on another character in another room. There is only one exception to this, late in the film, but even that moment the audience is able to enjoy for only a short time. Of course, this doesn’t cause the film to be any less violent in actuality, but it does limit the opportunities for exploitation of it.

Even odder, however, is the way that the sheer inhumanity of Peter and Paul (the tormentors) has the effect of making their victims seem even more human. In a world where heartless villians dominate action movies, I feel it’s safe to say that I’ve never seen onscreen villians as unsympathetic as this pair. In fact, they seem almost literally inhuman, like parodies of cold, debonair action movie villians given life (oh what Alan Rickman hath wrought!). At one point, Paul turns towards the camera and taunts the audience: “I bet you’re on their side, aren’t you?” The answer is, of course. But this is how the audience introspection is brought about; not by implicating the audience in the suffering of this family, as I’ve read so often, but by appealing to the better natures of the people consisting of that audience, and horrifying us. To me, this is the most misunderstood aspect of the film; we’re not being shocked as punishment, but rather we’re being shocked in order to recognize the brutality of behavior that we normally take for granted in movies.

I’ve also always thought that there’s a clear metaphor, whether intended by Haneke or not, in the family’s physical isolation. Their lake house is in a neighborhood that seems to be populated only seasonally, and the house itself is accessible only through a gated entrance and by the dock on the lake. As a result, when Ann and George have a chance to escape, they’re unable to leave the house together, and Ann has no luck finding someone to help even once she’s out. The need for greater human interaction and reliance were key themes in both Time of the Wolf and Caché, and it seems particularly ironic that and these characters are easy targets due to measures that were supposed to make them secure. And it doesn’t seem like simple coincidence that the movie has been unleashed on the US at a time when national security is an ongoing concern.

I don’t really have an opinion of whether the film is “good” or not. It frankly seems impossible to judge on those terms. Yet it does feel like an important film; perhaps somewhat less important for being a carbon-copy, but important nonetheless. And I certainly feel like it’s successful on its own terms, and Haneke is perhaps the most technically skilled director working today. So do I recommend it? Well, if you’ve read a lot about the film, you probably don’t need me to convince you either way. Caveat emptor, but I feel that it does have undeniable value.

The Opening of Funny Games


Most reading this blog by now know that Michael Haneke’s Funny Games U.S. (the “U.S.” apparently being a recent addition to the title) is a shot-by-shot remake of his earlier Funny Games, an Austrian film originally released in 1997. I won’t be able to comment on its merit as a remake until I’ve seen the film – I don’t have any opinion one way or the other about the concept – but there are a few aspects of the marketing campaign that I want to comment on.

I was expecting this film to open in arthouses, where it would be seen by a handful of Haneke fans, ensnare a few unsuspecting walk-ups due to the cast, and then quietly disappear before living on with mid-level cult status on DVD. That it was being distributed by Warner Independent (WIP) did nothing to dispell these expectations. Except for March of the Penguins, WIP has little box-office success to speak of, and even that film’s success was kind of an accident. More often, they put a half-hearted marketing effort behind wanna-be prestige films (In the Valley of Elah and The Painted Veil come to mind) that quickly come and go, failing to find much besides a built-in audience.

So it was surprising when I began seeing TV spots for the film a couple of weeks ago, because that’s a sure sign that the distributor has its sights for a movie set higher than a simple arthouse release. And then I started seeing posters up around town. And now today I see that it’s opening not just at a couple of arthouses in town, but also at suburban megaplexes around Chicagoland (Skokie, Gurnee, Glenview, etc). In short, WIP has put together a marketing campaign aimed at a relatively broad audience, not just arthouse snobs such as myself but upscale suburbanites and, of course, teens looking for a good slasher movie.

The reason that this is all so interesting is that, as those who have seen the Austrian orginal know, the film is deliberately designed to get people to hate it. Haneke is out to get the audience to examine their attitudes towards onscreen violence, but the way he chooses to do this can only be described as psychologically bullying. I know I make it sound unpleasant, and it is. Or at least, it’s supposed to be. There’s something perversely satisfying about releasing a movie like this to a wide audience; it feels like a well-executed prank.

Naturally, whether any audience actually shows up is another story. Critics have so far been hostile, but that’s to be expected regardless of what the merits of the film actually are. And whether or not spending marketing bucks on this film is a good idea from WIP’s point-of-view is a good question as well, since hostile audience reactions could certainly cause a lot of blowback from a corporate perspective. But it should sure as hell make for a fun night to eavesdrop on other people’s reactions after the film this weekend.

Sympathy for Charlize Theron



While Hollywood remakes of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and Joint Security Area have stalled in development (despite the former having attracted such names as Russell Crowe and Nicholas Cage) Charlize Theron dropped a bombshell for fans in a little-noticed interview with the The Boston Globe last week: she’s set to star and produce a remake of Park’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance!


(Theron will) also produce and star in a remake of “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance,” the final installment of a mondo-violent trilogy by Korean director Park Chan-wook.

I’m completely down with the idea of Theron as Geum-ja Lee, although more than a little skeptical about the project in general until more details (director/screenwriter, etc) are known.

Updated: MTV News caught up with Theron yesterday and got some additional tidbits:

He made an almost perfect film [but] he came to me and said he really wanted us to do this. He wanted to see that story told in an American society,” Theron said of Park Chan-wook, whose “Lady Vengeance” completed a revenge trilogy that included “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” and “Old Boy.” “If he wasn’t so encouraging I don’t think I could go through with it. We’re intimidated almost beyond belief.”

The original Korean flick follows Lee Geum-ja, an angel-faced young girl sent to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. When released, Geum begins a crusade of revenge, calling in favors, getting training, brutally kicking the crap out of anyone who stands in her way.

Theron will play the central role of Geum-ja, made famous in the original by Yeong-ae Lee. But that’s about the only sure thing for now, the Oscar winner clarified, insisting that they were “still in the very, very early stages of development right now.”

“But I’m very excited about it,” she said. “I’m a huge fan of the director. I love that whole trilogy but REALLY love that last one.”

According to Ms. Theron, they’re still looking for a director.