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.'"