With the American Film Market just around the corner, producers and filmmakers are going to be looking to get financing together and distribution deals in place for their projects, and noted French filmmaker Luc Besson is wasting little time by using his production company EuropaCorp’s AFM mailout to announce that he is producing an English remake of the Parisian-set “Banlieue 13” (aka "District 13").
Despite it now being titled “Brick Mansions,” you could probably just call it “District B13: America,” as it looks as if the original film’s plot is still very much intact. The official synopsis is as follows:
Chicago suburbs: nobody has control over Brick Mansions. Damien, an undercover cop, is facing an extreme mission: a mass-destruction weapon was stolen by Tremaine, the most powerful drug dealer in the Ghetto and Damien needs to infiltrate the gang to defuse the bomb. To accomplish his mission, he needs help from someone who knows well Brick Mansions: Lino, an expert at getting out of trouble with his extraordinary agility. Lino has had problems with the police in the past, but needs the mission to rescue his sister abducted by Tremaine. Will he accept joining forces with Damien?...Will they succeed in bringing down Tremaine?
So for fans of the original “District B13,” not very different is it? Also, the mailout apparently states that the film is currently in production, but a quick look at IMDB yields only an “In Development” status and a credit for Besson and Bibi Naceri for creating the original film’s characters. There is absolutely no mention of a director, actor or even a listing of Besson as a producer of the film, so maybe this announcement is a little premature, or else Besson is operating far under the radar.
Anyways, let’s not forget that the original film launched the career of “Taken” and “From Paris with Love” camp-action stalwart Pierre Morel, so perhaps Besson will be looking in that same vein for an American helmer this time around. And while Besson may be getting a little ahead of himself in an effort to get folks at the AFM talking about a “District B13” remake, is there anybody really clamoring for one? In the case of this writer, the first film was mildly amusing, but the follow-up “District 13: Ultimatum” was a complete bore that pretty much killed any interest in this story.
With “The Professional” helmer Besson probably gearing up to do press rounds for his highly touted awards season hopeful “The Lady,” perhaps we'll learn more about what he has in store. But isn't parkour sooo 2004? [Twitch]