Danish Oscar Contender Terribly Happy May Be Remade In English

By Katey Rich 2010-02-15 13:29:26discussion comments
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The Danish submission Terribly Happy didn't make the final cut for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees, which normally would make it pretty difficult for American audiences to catch up with the film. Oscilloscope released it in the U.S. last weekend, but without an Oscar push, the film likely won't make it beyond New York and Los Angeles But director Henrik Ruben Genz has us covered. According to Screen Daily, Genz is planning to remake the film in English, and is seeking U.S.-based producing partners.

“I felt I wasn’t finished with the material and wanted to explore it further,” Genz explained. "When the opportunity for a remake came up I felt I couldn’t let go of this curiosity and energy that bound me to the material." Howard Rodman, who penned the screenplay for Savage Grace, will be turning in an English-language draft within the next few weeks.

The situation makes a funny comparison to what happened to Let the Right One In, another Scandinavian film that failed to make the cut at the Oscars and went on to be remade in English. Of course, that film already had a large following by the time the remake was announced, and the directing gig went to American Matt Reeves instead of original director Tomas Alfredson. It's hard to imagine the English-language Terribly Happy will be a very big production, especially if Genz also directs it, but I admire the gumption behind the idea.

Terribly Happy, based on the novel by Erling Jepsen, is about a big-city cop hired as the new sheriff in the southern marshlands of Denmark. The locals don't like him much, of course, although the local femme fatale shows a little interest. The movie was frequently compared to a Coen Bros. film, and the very premise seems to come straight from American pulp novels. Whether or not Genz succeeds in his quest to make his film in English, it sounds like a story that would fit in very well on these shores.
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