The Long Good Friday: is nothing sacred?

Granted, The Long Good Friday isn't especially geeky, but there's still no way they should let the king of cinematic crap anywhere near it...

Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday

News has filtered through that the British classic The Long Good Friday is set for the Hollywood remake treatment. With Paul W S Anderson behind the camera.

The Long Good Friday.

Paul W S Anderson.

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Who is it that’s actually making these decisions? Even appreciating that Paul W S Anderson bashing became a little unpleasant once upon a time, and accepting too that Event Horizon really wasn’t too bad, questions nonetheless surely have to be asked. In fact, it can be summed up in one word.

Why?

We’ve got The Italian Job to blame for this. The remake of that scored big in the States, and generated an upcoming sequel. And as a result, Hollywood studios are no doubt scouring the back catalogues of classic British movies in order to give the classic ‘reimagining’ treatment to. Whatever next? The Krays, with Freddie Prinze Jr and Paul Walker? Carry On Camping, with Jim Carrey and Jessica Simpson?

But back to the matter in hand. Whoever Paul W S Anderson’s agent is surely deserves the business of everyone in Hollywood. Can you think of a more prominent example of someone who is constantly married to important, promising projects, in spite of a clear and present lack of directorial talent and/or vision? Have these people seen Soldier? Or Resident Evil? Or AvP? How much more evidence do they need?

It’s hard to recall too many other examples of such a disproportionate match up of project to talent. We’re talking Brett Ratner and a Hannibal Lector movie. Brian Levant and The Flintstones. Er, AvP and PWSA.

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It’s genuinely upsetting not just that they’re remaking and Americanising such an iconic British film, but that they’re getting such a lightweight to do it. You could at least understand it if Scorsese was behind the camera. Heck, Anderson shouldn’t even be allowed in the room where they keep the camera equipment.

One last request, in the hope that at least something in all this debacle can remain sacred. And it’s a memo to Bob Hoskins.

Bob, if by some miracle you’re reading this, should that phone ring please say no.

Please.

BUT! So incensed was another DoG contributor over this particular project, that here comes another rant on the same topic….!

Please God someone stop Paul W.S. Anderson!

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It’s been reported by the BBC that Paul W.S. Anderson, who gave us the Resident Evil and sequels, is to turn his Ladybird book of directing on the 1980 classic The Long Good Friday.

Presumably it will be set in LA, feature a taller lead actor and have an entirely different ending to the downbeat sober revelation of the original.

I’m tempting to blame the Americans for even considering re-imagining such a brilliant production, but it appears to be the brainchild of the material’s UK owners, Handmade films. And they think the ideal person for the job is Anderson, whose track record of game to movie conversions and franchise sequels demonstrates he hasn’t got any original ideas of his own to speak of.

With Stallone trashing Get Carter, Hanks’ unfunny version of The Lady Killers, the abysmal Wahlberg vehicle The Italian Job, and now this, I’m rapidly running out of classic British films to remember unsullied.

What next? The Titfield Thunderbolt set in the New York subway?

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