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John Woo's Remake Of Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Le Samourai' Still In The Works, Will Be Set In Berlin

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 30, 2013 at 12:40PM

It seems that John Woo just can't leave the films of Jean-Pierre Melville alone. Back in 2004, he was attached to remake "Le Cercle Rouge," and that didn't happen with the movie bouncing around a few more directors until James Mangold was the latest name linked last year. And then a few years ago, he was talking up remaking "Le Samourai," and it seems it's something he's not only still planning on doing, he's even got a location figured out.
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Le Samourai John Woo

It seems that John Woo just can't leave the films of Jean-Pierre Melville alone. Back in 2004, he was attached to remake "Le Cercle Rouge," and that didn't happen with the movie bouncing around a few more directors until James Mangold was the latest name linked last year. And then a few years ago, he was talking up remaking "Le Samourai," and it seems it's something he's not only still planning on doing, he's even got a location figured out.

The director recently chatted with German outlet Die Welt (via Bleeding Cool) and revealed that he wants to set the remake in Berlin, and that American screenwriters are working on a draft right now. (Don't look for exact quotes, because Google translating an already translated interview will just be a mess, but that's the general gist). As much as we're kinda worried about Woo even attempting to replicate the effortless cool of Melville's film and/or contemporizing it into an ordinary hitman movie, given how slow going this has been so far, something tells us this a project that will be in development forever.

So, with that in mind, you could use this opportunity to catch up with this movie if you've never seen it. A film that we noted was egregiously overlooked in the Sight & Sound Top 100, the movie stars a fiercely minimal Alain Delon as the near-silent hitman whose world slowly comes apart when he becomes the target of his employers. Movies like Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" or Jim Jarmusch's "Limits Of Control" simply wouldn't exist without it; Melville was there first and hit perfection the first time out. So pick up that Criterion Collection DVD and see what Woo is up against in trying to redo this.

This article is related to: John Woo


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