Japan Remakes Louis Malle Noir
Whatever one may think about the practice of remaking films in itself, some recent choices by Asian filmmakers make Hollywood's wholesale approach to remaking seem a little puerile - last in line, the news of a remake of Park Chul-Soo's intriguing 녹색의자 (Green Chair). The latest to join the remake train is Japan, director Ogata Akira of 愛妻日記 - 饗宴 (Diary of a Beloved Wife - Feast) and 独立少年合唱団 (Boy's Choir) to be specific. Ogata will in fact helm a remake of Louis Malle's 1958 French noir Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows), which originally starred Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet, as a Bonnie & Clyde committing the perfect murder, and slowly crumbling once he remains trapped inside an elevator.
Casting for the remake is rather interesting, as Abe Hiroshi and Kichise Michiko will be the leads. Abe has had a pretty prolific career on TV, mixing extremely successful roles in comedies, but also the occasional machismo-drenched escapade, particularly on jidaigeki like NHK's weekend taiga. Recently, he's started to add more eclectic choices to his filmmography, best of which is certainly his partnership with Koreeda Hirokazu. If there's anyone in Japan who could make a great film noir lead, that's certainly Abe. Kichise has been known to overact on more than one occasion, but she also has metric tons of charisma, which should help her in this kind of genre. 死刑台のエレベーター (Shikedai no Elevator)'s producers Kadokawa Pictures gained permission from Malle's son Manuel, and plan to release the noir in the fall of 2010.