It seems that Hollywood, much like Memento’s protagonist, is suffering from a very specific type of memory loss. Their particular amnesia? That Memento is pretty much the best fucking movie ever. It was a near-perfect film, but now, Hollywood wants to tinker with that perfect formula.
Turns out that Memento, the thriller that put Christopher Nolan’s name on the map before it got attached to things like Batman and Interstellar, is getting remade just fifteen years after its creation.
In the original film, Guy Pearce stars as a man suffering from a strange form of amnesia, on a single-minded mission to hunt down his wife’s killer. But, as is the case with all Christopher Nolan films, there’s more to the story than that. It spirals rapidly into an edgy, anachronological mind-bender, indicative of Nolan’s distinct mindfucky fingerprint.
Released by Newmarket Films, Memento earned nominations for best screenplay and best editing, and has, in the fifteen years since its release, become a favorite of Nolan hipsters everywhere.
AMBI Pictures, run by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, acquired remake rights after acquisition of the library of Exclusive Media Group. Just last week, AMBI launched a $200 million film fund to finance “a slate of high-end, star-driven commercial feature films,” the inaugural project of which evidently being (according to rabid film geeks everywhere) an unnecessary recreation of a modern classic.
Emphasis on the word “unnecessary.” You don’t see people running around trying to put a fresh new spin on The Shining or There Will Be Blood, do you? Nah, you don’t, because that shit is stupid.
Certain film with certain plot lines (comic book films and sci-fi classics like Star Wars in particular) practically beg to be remade because new technology developed since their release makes it possible to tell the story in a whole new light. But other films, like Memento, which don’t rely on visual effects or have a deeply ingrained cultural story line that exists outside of the actual film, don’t need that kind of re-imagining. Yet, Hollywood is starved for originality at this point. It behooves them money-wise to return to preexisting brilliance when it comes to releasing movies they know will turn a profit.
Bacardi acknowledged this, saying “We intend to stay true to Christopher Nolan’s vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic, and award-worthy as the original,” but … we’ll believe it when we (don’t) see it.
Add one more to the “Hollywood remake” list.