Say what you want about the Weinsteins, but it goes without saying that they know how to work the film industry system (and make it work) better than I know how to curse little bastards on XBOX Live- and that’s saying something.
Still, there’s something about shuffling to remake a foreign film that just garnered a surprise Oscar win and has only been in US release a few weeks that strikes me as an artistically silly paradox. But such is the case with The Lives of Others. As part of a renewal deal with Sydney Pollacks Mirage shingle, the Weinstein Company has nabbed rights to a remake of the eavesdropping East Germany tale.
The reality is Lives, despite an Oscar win, will make very little in US coin and will be seen by very few people. So here’s the paradox– while a remake of a relevant and very good film seems like a remake for the sake of remake, an English version would make Lives much more accessible to a wider North American audience.
The Weinstein/Mirage partnership has already yielded the Jude Law film Breaking and Entering and would most likely keep director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in the drivers seat for The Lives of Others remake. Even so, it’s not necessarily under way.
Variety quotes Pollack making a sensible case, "We would just desperately love for that film to be something that
reaches more people. We haven’t gotten locked into making it yet, but we’re working hard at
trying to get it going."
So, wider audience ultimately trumps exisiting goodness, which is not necessarily bad and not necessarily good. In the mean time, The Reader, an upcoming romance from Kidman prosthetic nose director Stephen Daldry, is the Weinstein/Mirage next.