By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 24, 2011 at 2:33AM
Belgium: a nation known, in the US at least, more for its waffles than for its cinema. In recent years, the Dardenne Brothers have made some waves (and how!), but for the most part, the country's probably best known in the film world for 1992's "Man Bites Dog," and as being the birthplace of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Not that they're incapable of producing a homegrown hit: the thriller "Loft" became the biggest-grossing Flemish-language film of all time when it was released back in 2008, and now it looks like it's heading for a remake.
Variety report that Anonymous Content have picked up the rights to the film, and have set the film's original director, Erik Van Looy, to helm, from a new script by Wesley Strick ("Cape Fear"). The plot involves five men who rent a loft apartment together where they can bring their mistresses, only to discover a woman's body there, raising the possibility that any one of them could be the killer.
Two relatively well-known names in talks to star, coming in the shape of Patrick Wilson and James Marsden. The latter's overcome the early blandness of his performances in the "X-Men" movies to carve out a decent career as a comic actor, although he continues to fare less well in straight roles (*cough*"The Box"*cough*). Wilson, too, has never quite lived up to the promise of his stage work, outside of his terrific performance in "Little Children." Both have great potential, though, and if they can be paired with other strong names, we could see them do their best work in a while.
The history of remakes of European thrillers helmed by their original directors isn't exactly a glorious one, as anyone who saw "The Vanishing" or "Nightwatch" will attest to. But last year's "Let Me In" proved that not all remakes are write offs, and, while we're unfamiliar with the original, there's no denying it has a killer premise -- basically, "The Apartment" meets "Very Bad Things." So we're cautiously optimistic about this, at least for the moment. Wilson recently signed on to the Jonathan Demme-helmed pilot for an untitled supernatural drama at CBS, from "Erin Brockovich" writer Susannah Grant, so production on the film will get underway in the spring, in case the series is picked up; we'd expect some further casting news soon.