The Daily Express has reported that Tom Cruise is planning to produce a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Yep. And get this; John Travolta would star with him.
Now, there are a few issues with this. The first, which negates the entire rest of the piece, is that the Daily Express does not really get scoops in the UK, in which case this is very likely to be an over-enthusiastic journalist trying to grab some publicity and taking some statements out of context. On this subject, the source from which this news comes from is the dreaded anonymous. So, this is very likely some trumped up tomfoolery (pun somewhat intended).
Second, should this be true, this is a terrible idea. Now, I don’t normally just have a visceral reaction of ‘NO’ to all remakes that come along because, honestly, there are some films which could do with remaking or reimagining. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is not one of the them. They got it right the first time round, there is just no need to remake it. This is the problem with remakes of great films (see: The Taking of Pelham 123) by modern directors who have no interest in doing anything different.
So, while it try to avoid such negativity, I hate this idea and hope desperately that The Daily Express remains the terrible, sub-Daily Mail idiocy it has always been and becomes proved wrong on this abominable story.
Only days after he came out chatting about Eastern Promises 2, David Cronenberg has been talking up his first super-sized blockbuster project, a $150m adaptation of The Matarese Circle, the Robert Ludlum novel, which will star Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington.
During an interview with the Toronto Star, made as he received the Légion d’Honneur,an honour he seemed genuinely surprised about. He noted he has had a good relationship with France in the past while the writer cites his prize-winning in Cannes in 1996 for Crash and his serving as jury president at the festival in 1999.
As regards The Matarese Circle though, Cronenberg said he had gained the support of both Cruise and Washington for the project, adding they were “waiting to read my script”.
Describing his attraction to the project, he said:
“I think when you get too comfortable, you need to scare yourself by trying something you’ve never done before… It comes from the same place as wanting to direct an opera, or write a novel, or curate an Andy Warhol art exhibit… It’s not easy to keep all the satisfying elements people expect and still find a way to subvert the genre and surprise the audience”
Cronenberg also has a potential opera project, following from his successful staging of The Fly in France last year, and a novel to work on, not to mention Eastern Promises 2.
Should be interesting to see him try and make something palatable for a mainstream audience. A History of Violence and Eastern Promises are probably about as accessible as he’s ever done, although both still contain moments of exploring that same vein of body horror he’s continuously come back to in the past.
Maybe it will just be a thrill to see a great, talented director take on a mainstream work not for the subversiveness of it, but more for his ability to subtely bring something new and interesting to the wider palate of filmmaking.
About 5-10 years ago, this news would have elicited hoots of ovation from audiences around the world and dominated the entertainment press. Now, you just sit and imagine what on earth this will turn out as.
James Mangold, erstwhile director on Walk the Line, 3.10 to Yuma and the perrenially underrated Copland, is attached to direct a romantic comedy which has gone under the names of Wichita and Trouble Man.
Title issues aside, it is apparently being developed as a possible pairing vehicle for Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Seriously, turn of the century, this would have been huge news.
The two have teamed together before in the okay Vanilla Sky, playing lovers and latterly troubled lovers, and exhibited some chemistry. Just might be nice to see Cruise try and charm and audience again, surely a much bigger challenge for him nowadays than even killing Hitler.