The Dirty Dozen is one of my all-time favorite movies evar. Seeing it on local UHF stations as a kid (on what seemed like a weekly basis) served as a gateway drug to several cinematic subgenres like war movies, “tough guy” flicks and “guys on a mission” stories.
For those who have somehow never seen the original WWII classic, it involved a group of imprisoned soldiers offered a reprieve to go on a suicide mission behind enemy lines, and starred perennial roughnecks Lee Marvin and Chuck Bronson (not to mention Donald Sutherland, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, George Kennedy, Telly Savales and John Cassavetes). With such a perfect high-concept formula, a remake of The Dirty Dozen was inescapable (probably a poor choice of phrase, since it’ll remind someone in Hollywood that The Great Escape has yet to be remade).
Warner Bros. is on the case, with überproducer Joel Silver himself rounding up the convicts. And who’s more qualified than Silver, who rose to success with similar criminal mismatching like 48 hrs. and “guys on a mission” stuff like Predator? How about writer Scott Rosenberg, who already did a variation on the material with Con Air?
There’s a ton of these “guys on a mission” type of movies already in the works, like The Losers, The Mission remake, Rainbow Six, and Quentin Tarantino’s long-planned direct homage Inglorious Bastards. Apparently Silver also wanted to make a movie along the lines of The Dirty Dozen, and upon learning that WB owned the rights simply decided to remake it (like the equally needless but no less inevitable remake of The Wild Bunch, the new version will be contemporized). I can’t bring myself to get pissed about this stuff anymore, but Lee Marvin is currently clawing out of his pine box to personally stomp the sense out of everyone involved.