Here’s hoping Tobey Maguire isn’t over Jake Gyllenhaal’s near-theft of his leading role in Spider-Man 2, ‘cuz all that tension could help turn Jim Sheridan’s remake of Susanne Bier’s very good Brothers into the male version of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. In fact, I’d drop the wife character (played in the original by the delectable Connie Nielsen) as well as the daughters, and have Maguire play the black sheep of the family who moves back in with his parents after his older brother (Gyllenhaal) goes MIA whilst serving his country in Iraq rafting in the Poconos with his college glee club.
David Benioff is handling the scripting chores for Sheridan (who’s looking to rebound after the fairly awful Get Rich or Die Tryin’), and I guess he’s aiming for a different dynamic from the original, since both Maguire and Gyllenhaal are much younger than their Danish counterparts. In a way, I’m serous about jettisoning the wife and kids, though Gyllenhaal was almost believable as a divorced father in Zodiac. But busting the love interest down to mere girlfriend status would be to lower the stakes so drastically as to render the whole drama inert.
Aside from Sheridan and Benioff cracking the adaptation, the success of this remake will rely on Maguire, who almost reads as a grown man onscreen. Gyllenhaal is still too young and too insubstantial a presence to anchor a film like this.
Principal photography is set to begin in November. Paparazzi will be paying a year’s mortgage hounding this set.