A BITTERSWEET LIFE to Be Remade, Albert Hughes Takes the Reigns

One half of the directing duo behing Menace II Society, From Hell and The Book of Eli, Albert Hughes, is set to direct a fast-tracked remake of the seminal Korean gangster film A Bittersweet Life. Anthony Peckham, recently behind Invictus and Sherlock Holmes, has been brought in to polish the script. No word yet on cast or possible release date.

There's been a awful lot of news surrounding Korean films being remade in Hollywood or Korean directors making their mark in Tinseltown lately but this is one development I can't get excited about. I'm generally not a fan of foreign films being remade (much less Korean ones) so I'm not one of the people who is excited for Spike Lee's take on Oldboy. However, I do recognize the potential that such an original premise has in a new market. The same goes for the upcoming remake of Castaway on the Moon, one of the very best films made in the last decade. Last I heard, Mark Waters (of Mr. Popper's Penguins fame) was at the helm, and while I don't think that'll amount to much I do concede that it is property with a fantastic premise, ripe for the remake treatment.

However, as great as Kim Jee-woon's A Bittersweet Life is, and it really is, it's not based on the most original of conceits. Were you to take away its magnetic star (Lee Byung-hun), flamboyant (and very Korean) mise-en-scene, and its auteur director, I'm not sure that a whole lot would be left behind. At least not enough to warrant a remake. Perhaps I'm wrong about this and they have an angle that will set it apart from the original, but I have my doubts.
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  • Padraig

    Who cares, the original was an overrated turd.

  • wangkon936

    This is funny. Half the movie is a sub-plot for Byun's character to get a gun. A Russian pistol. Because of South Korea's strict gun laws, this sub plot made sense. If the remake's story is set in the U.S., which has very, how shall I say? Liberal gun acquisition laws, then there goes this major sub-plot. I wonder what Hughes is gonna fill that up with.

  • This is going to be horrible.

  • Mangkone

    Please cancel it somehow, please. Or at least cast Lee Byung Hun for the main role. And by any means you shall not cast Shia Labeouf in it.

  • Kieron

    I'd say that sounds a pretty spot on assessment to me!

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