I’ve been hearing about this one for a while now, and I guess this means it’s becoming official: Tony Scott is going to be doing a remake of the CHUD Essential Movie The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, about the hijacking of a New York City subway train by none other than Robert Shaw. Scott is casting Denzel Washington as the cop up against the hijackers, a role originally played by Walter Matthau. This will be the fourth time Scott and Denzel work together.
When I first heard that this was a remake Scott was interested in, I couldn’t help but wonder why; in a post-9/11 New York, with its Operation Atlas special teams and heightened security, the hijacking of a subway train would play out very, very differently than it did in 1974. Of course that essential difference is what could make this a movie worth revisiting, as a straight remake is out of the question. Filtering a 70s heist/adventure through an Age of Terror lens could be very fascinating. Or it could be another example of Tony Scott sort of missing the point, as he seems to be doing with his long-talked about remake of The Warriors, which would be set in Los Angeles and feature real gangs instead of the colorful comic book gangs of the original.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three would be a pre-strike picture, so look for it to get rolling in the next few months.