This isn't necessarily shocking news, but the timing is sort of weird: The Wrap is reporting that Sony and subtlety-proof Original Films producer Neil H. Moritz have optioned the remake rights to Jacques Audiard's jaw-dropping French crime epic "A Prophet." The original movie, which charted the ascension of a small time criminal who, after being imprisoned, rises in the criminal ranks, was nominated for the 2010 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and won the Grand Prix award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Something tells us the remake will escape similar glories.
In a canned statement, Moritz said that "This is an epic crime saga with compelling characters and original storytelling." Without taking a pause to take in the ironic weight of praising a movie for its originality while setting about to remake that original, Moritz continued: "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to make an English-language version of the film and I am grateful to have the trust of Jacques Audiard and his producers, as well as the writers Thomas Bidegain, Nicolas Peufaillit and Abdel Raouf Dafri." Meaning: they all got paid very, very handsomely.
Moritz, whose credits include the recent "Fast & Furious 6" and the odious "Jack the Giant Slayer," along with "Battle: Los Angeles," "S.W.A.T," "Stealth," and "I Am Legend." His comic book adaptation "R.I.P.D." (he has a thing for acronyms) opens later this summer. The producer knows a thing or two about horribly ruining a beloved original, having recently remade "Total Recall" to incredibly diminished returns. The remake of "A Prophet" will most likely forgo all of the timely political commentary of the original, instead making it some kind of "Scarface"-in-the-smaller thing, complete with the hiring of a young director with a background in music videos.
In the same report, when rattling off Mortiz's upcoming features, the report makes note that the sequel to "21 Jump Street" will be called "22 Jump Street." This is news to us. The sequel, which reteams Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, once again for directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, debuts in theaters June 6th, 2014.