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Sunday, February 17, 2013
DE PALMA ON WHY HE DROPPED OUT OF 'HEAT'
"THE VEGAS OF TODAY IS NOT THE '80s"
We have many De Palma interviews from France to sort through, but in the Les inRocks interview by Jacky Goldberg and Serge Kaganski, De Palma is asked about the Jason Statham remake of Heat that he had been working on last year. De Palma had the idea to move the setting to Nice, France ("a different casino town," he had told Anne Thompson last September). In the new Les inRocks interview, De Palma says, "I started working on it with a French writer, Natalie Carter. It happens in Vegas, but I think the story is a little out of sync because the Vegas of today is not the '80s. I told them to do whatever they want and I gave it up." The Statham film is now scheduled to begin shooting March 4th in Las Vegas and New Orleans, under the direction of Simon West.

Posted by Geoff at 5:33 PM CST
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Monday, November 19, 2012
SPEAKING (RANDOMLY) OF SIMON WEST...
About a week after it was announced that George Lucas was selling the Star Wars franchise to Disney, Entertainment Weekly's Carrie Bell asked Quentin Tarantino if he was interested in the upcoming movies. "I could so care less,” Tarantino responded. “No, sorry. Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars.” (Funny, but that sounds suspiciously close to how I feel about the Simon West version of Heat.)

Posted by Geoff at 10:55 PM CST
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Thursday, November 1, 2012
DE PALMA NO LONGER ATTACHED TO 'HEAT'
SIMON WEST & CORY YUEN TO EACH RETEAM WITH JASON STATHAM
News has come (from Deadline, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, etc., etc.) out of the American Film Market in Santa Monica today that Simon West will direct Jason Statham in the remake of William Goldman's Heat. Brian De Palma had previously been attached to direct the picture, telling journalists at recent film festivals that he was working on a revision of the screenplay with his Passion co-screenwriter, Natalie Carter. The film was sold to various territories at the Berlin Film Market, with Statham and De Palma's names attached, this past February. West has previously directed Statham in two films, The Mechanic, and this year's The Expendables 2. Cory Yuen, who directed Statham in The Transporter, joins Heat as action director and fight choreographer. Statham is producing along with Steven Chasman.

"I met De Palma in New York and, you know, he's one of the living legends," Statham told The Playlist's Drew Taylor about the project back in April. "Scarface is one of my top five movies of all time, so the chance to work with that kind of quality is something I never saw happening. It just happens to be an old movie from the past and we're going to do the best we can with it."

Posted by Geoff at 6:05 PM CDT
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
STATHAM TALKS DE PALMA & 'HEAT'
"WE'RE GOING TO DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH IT"
The Playlist's Drew Taylor spoke briefly with Jason Statham at a recent press junket for Boaz Yakin's Safe, which opens Friday. Taylor made sure to ask Statham about his connection to Brian De Palma, who had earlier been developing Parker, which Statham wound up signing on for and filming with director Taylor Hackford. De Palma will direct Statham in a remake of the Burt Reynolds movie Heat later this year. "I met De Palma in New York and, you know, he's one of the living legends," Statham told Taylor. "Scarface is one of my top five movies of all time, so the chance to work with that kind of quality is something I never saw happening. It just happens to be an old movie from the past and we're going to do the best we can with it."

When asked by Taylor what drew him to make Safe, Statham said, "It sounded like something that maybe people would want to go see." Statham then elaborated on how he approaches such decisions. "The whole purpose of doing these films is, 'Would you want to go see these films? Do you think anyone else would?' And 'Would it be a good experience?'" Taylor calls Safe one of Statham's better films. Salon's Andrew O'Hehir feels that Safe is perhaps the most authentic of recent thrillers that "partake of a ’70s-flavored dystopian and/or paranoid vision." Aware of the upcoming Heat remake, O'Hehir suggests that Statham "seems on course to becoming a modern-day [Charles] Bronson or Burt Reynolds."

Statham seems like he will be a great match for De Palma. The actor, who loves to do his own stunts, fights, etc., told Ivan Solotaroff in the April 2012 issue of Details about his disdain for special effects. "Fahkin' hate green screen," Statham is quoted as saying. "Pay significant amounts of money never to do it again. You cannot fake adrenaline." Sounds like an actor tailor-made for De Palma's brand of No Net Productions and long, continuous, choreographed takes.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CDT
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012
'HEAT' IS HAPPENING
SIERRA/AFFINITY SELLS GERMAN THEATRICAL & TV RIGHTS TO UNIVERSUM
Hot on the heels of Passion, which began filming yesterday in Berlin, The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Roxborough reports that Universum Film has acquired the German theatrical rights to Brian De Palma's remake of the 1986 Burt Reynolds vehicle Heat, which will star Jason Statham. Universum's sister company RTL took the TV rights for the territory. For this film, De Palma will film again in France, eleven years after shooting Femme Fatale in that country. William Goldman is revising his 1986 script for the new film, according to Roxborough. A March 7 2012 Hollywood Reporter article by Pamela McClintock further reveals that Heat "scored distribution deals with Universum in Germany, SPI in Eastern Europe, Sun Distribution in Latin America, Tanweer in India, Cathay-Keris in Singapore and Studio Solutions Group in Taiwan, among others."

Meanwhile, Outlaw Vern recently watched the Burt Reynolds movie for the first time, and surmises, "I can see why some people would write it off (ha ha Burt Reynolds) but the sleazy tone, the unorthodox structure and the strong relationships with the prostitute, the blackjack dealer and the software nerd all make it a forgotten gem in my opinion. Also he uses a credit card to slit a guy’s throat."

Posted by Geoff at 6:42 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 11:24 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
DE PALMA TO DIRECT STATHAM IN 'HEAT' REMAKE
GOLDMAN TO SCRIPT MODERN TAKE ON HIS 1985 NOVEL;
FILM TO SHOOT IN FRANCE LATE 2012 OR EARLY 2013

Brian De Palma had been developing a movie based on the Donald Westlake underworld character Parker for a while between 2010 and 2011, and that project ended up in the hands of Taylor Hackford, with Jason Statham starring. But now it looks like De Palma will pair up with Statham on a remake of Heat, the 1986 movie that starred Burt Reynolds. The film was based on a novel by William Goldman, who also wrote the screenplay. According to a press release from Sierra/Affinity (which Collider has provided in its entirety), Goldman will also write the screenplay for this modern take on the material. The film was announced in Berlin ahead of the festival that begins tomorrow, and appears to be creating quite a buzz. Statham will co-produce the film with Steven Chasman, who is also a producer on Statham's Parker (which was also sold by Sierra/Affinity at last year's Cannes market).

The press release describes the film like this:

This tightly-wound, fun action-thriller, tells the story of a tough recovering gambling addict (Statham) who makes his living providing protection in the rough edges of the gambling world. Statham’s character refuses to resort to gunplay, strictly using hand and edged weapon combat. When a dear friend is brutally beaten by a high-rolling mobster, he helps her get her revenge and he ends up in more trouble than he ever imagined.

Sierra's Nick Meyer states in the press release, "We are pleased to once again be working with Jason and Steve on another project which in this case is based on great source material from a rare combination of an acclaimed novelist who is also at the top of his game as a screenwriter. We look forward to bringing this elevated action-thriller from Brian De Palma to distributors around the world. We feel this project has it all—a first rate piece of material, a legendary director and a global action star."

The 1986 version of Heat is currently streaming on Netflix.

Mark at Good Efficient Butchery recalls seeing the film back in the day, and notes that the Netflix version is different from the U.S. theatrical release. "It seems this alternate version was released on the budget-priced R1 DVD by Platinum Disc," he writes, "and is not the version released in US theaters or on the Paramount VHS." This could possibly be the U.K. version of the film, which was released in 1986. Heat was not released in the U.S. until 1987.

According to Mark, the film seems a "noble failure" that shows its behind-the-scenes troubles on screen. According to Mark, who seems to know his stuff, Heat "was started by Robert Altman, who left after a day of shooting. He was replaced by Tootsie producer Dick Richards, who helmed most of the film (and got his ass kicked by Burt), then veteran TV director Jerry Jameson was brought in to finish it. Richards gets sole credit, under the name 'R.M. Richards.'"


Posted by Geoff at 12:41 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 11:07 PM CST
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