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Ugh: 'Precious' Director Lee Daniels To Remake Fellini's 'Nights of Cabiria'

by Oliver Lyttelton
December 7, 2010 1:54 AM
14 Comments
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It's no secret that we weren't big fans of Lee Daniels' "Hard To Watch: Based On The Book 'Stone Cold Bummer' By Manipulate" "Precious: Based On The Book 'Push' By Sapphire" here. The film was admittedly chock-full of excellent performances, particularly the Oscar-winning Mo'nique and lead Gabourey Sidibe, but the movie was irredeemably manipulative, and showed, in Daniel's work, perhaps the directorial effort least deserving of an Oscar nomination in history -- unfocused, garish and showy.

Nevertheless, the film's success has seen the producer/director's stock rise, and he's been linked to a number of projects over the year. The main contender seemed to be civil rights drama "Selma," which had Hugh Jackman, Cedric the Entertainer, David Oyelowo and Liam Neeson attached, but the funding never came together, and, while the project is still in development, it looks unlikely that it'll happen any time soon. Overnight, a story on Deadline about the director signing to agency CAA confirms that, as long rumored, his next project looks to be "The Butler," a Denzel Washington vehicle about an African-American servant in the White House. But there's also a nasty little surprise in the story...

The site also reports that a deal is closing to attach Daniels to a remake of Federico Fellini's 1957 classic "Night of Cabiria." That's right. Lee Daniels. Doing Fellini. Let that settle in for a moment. Try not to have an aneurysm.

If you're unfamiliar with the original (and it's one of Fellini's best films, so you should correct that as soon as you can), it stars Fellini's wife, the incomparable Giulietta Masina, as a naive prostitute in Rome, consistently betrayed by the men in her life. You can catch up with a trailer below. There's no further news about the project, although it's being put together by WME.

It's not that we're against the idea of a remake in principle -- Fellini's film was, after all the basis for Bob Fosse's classic musical "Sweet Charity," which took a very different approach, but still worked out. The problem here is that whoever's involved seems to have worked and long and hard to find the worst possible director that they could have hired for the material: "Nights of Cabiria" would seem to play to Daniels' worst excesses, if "Precious" is any indication.

Aside from "The Butler" and "Selma," the director's also been linked recently to a film version of the Kander & Ebb musical "The Scottsboro Boys" -- he's a busy man, so we hope and pray that the Fellini remake is just a bad idea that never gets beyond a couple of meetings. But if not, then we nervously await the announcement of the McG remake of "La Dolce Vita," and the other two horsemen of the apocalypse.

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14 Comments

  • the golden walrus | February 6, 2011 3:00 AMReply

    I don't feel so good

  • Tom | December 9, 2010 7:39 AMReply

    Mary, how about you show a little respect and learn how to spell the man's last name correctly...

  • Jamal | December 8, 2010 10:23 AMReply

    Jesse, what do you think Ken meant by saying "stick to second rate civil rights movies". Please! This is nothing BUT racial mess. The brutha is a good director. I'm want to see what he does.

  • Jesse | December 8, 2010 4:53 AMReply

    Mary, what the hell are you talking about? They're not criticizing Daniel's for being black. It's because he's NOWHERE NEAR as good as Fellini. Not very many directors are. I'm sure they'd be saying the same if Daniel's were white.

  • Mary | December 8, 2010 3:39 AMReply

    Ok people...I realize you only take off your white sheets long enough to watch your hero Sarah Palin shoot a defenseless animal but enough is enough. Do you know how stupid and racist you idiots sound in your remarks about this Daniels guy? You make me ashamed.

    Does it make you creeps feel superior to kill animals and verbally attack someone who can not defend himself?

    Clearly Daniels knows what he's doing. He was responsible for getting both Halle Berry and Monique Oscars. His own directors guild voted him the best they have for his work on Precious.

    Just because you think Daniels is wrong to direct Fillini's Nights because he's Black is insulting. Half of my highly educated white family have no idea who Fillini was.
    As a matter of fact(if you read anything other than Tits & Jugs Magazine) it was Dino DeLaurentiis himself who took notice of Daniels's brutal truth in Precious that prompted Dino to personally call Daniels. "Nights" is the last
    film Dino was Producing and Lee Daniels was his man. Show a little respect for Dino and Daniels and let's see what work of art Daniels creates. Talent is not based on color but you all have proven that pure ignorance is. Now go take your teeth out from the water glass and enjoy a piece of moose pie with Sarah.

  • laurabot | December 7, 2010 9:07 AMReply

    How did they get the rights you ask? Dino DeLaurentiis is rolling in his grave. How distasteful, his corpse is barely cold. WME, the soulless devils, better staring saving their pennies, they just signed on to an Epic Flop.

  • Bobby | December 7, 2010 8:19 AMReply

    Maybe the fat girl will play Masina.

  • Bryan | December 7, 2010 6:56 AMReply

    What an atrocious idea. Let's all hope this never happens.

  • BradZuhl | December 7, 2010 3:03 AMReply

    WHAAAAAAAT? How could he even get the rights to remake this? Please don't do it!

  • Ken | December 7, 2010 2:51 AMReply

    This is the worst news I've heard today.

    Stick to second rate civil rights movies, Lee Daniels.

  • Cde. | December 7, 2010 2:51 AMReply

    Sick.

    Nights of Cabiria is one of my favourites.

  • Cara | December 7, 2010 2:24 AMReply

    Whoops, I forgot about 'Sweet Charity', the above photoshop / news has clouded my mind with rage.

  • Cara | December 7, 2010 2:20 AMReply

    Successful on Broadway production or not, you think SOMEONE would have paid attention to the idea that came out of the film / farce 'Nine', that Fellini's films should kinda stay as only Fellini's films.

  • joe | December 7, 2010 2:04 AMReply

    Hands down this is the worst film news in cinema history.
    The names Lee Daniels and Fellini should never be said in the same sentence.
    Wow.

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