Writer Steven Zaillian Moving Forward With His Time Crimes Remake
I've already written once today, in passing, about one of the most inventive time travel films I've seen in recent years, Shane Carruth's Primer. And now, as it happens, it's time to write about the other one, Nacho Vigalondo's Spanish-language Time Crimes-- though unfortunately, this is going to be one of those stories that every fan of a foreign-language film dreads.
The news over at Deadline is that writer Steve Zaillian has moved his planned remake of the film from United Artists to DreamWorks, where he is now set to write the script as well. Zaillian just got finished adapting Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for director David Fincher, so apparently he's now moving his way further South in Europe. Vigalondo, the original writer-director who also had a pivotal role in the film, does not appear to be involved-- not really a surprise, given the way these things usually work.
Time Crimes, which came out in 2007, was a delightfully twisty little film that, true to the title, is both about crimes and time travel. Main character Hector witnesses a naked woman in the woods and is lured to a mysterious lab, where Vigalondo's character explains to him the time travel technology that will help him solve an apparent crime. It's both silly and a little scary, and totally satisfying for time travel movie junkies (like me) who feel like they've seen it all. It's hard to imagine what a remake might be able to add, beyond just exposing the story to a wider audience and trying to pretend that Americans still have a monopoly on crazy time-traveling scientists.
In the wake of Let Me In, a perfectly lovely remake of Let the Right One In, I'm trying to avoid knee-jerk hatred of American remakes, no matter how much the original is just fine as it is. If Steven Zaillian is a good enough writer for David Fincher, he can be good enough for me. This is what we call the power of positive thinking.
The trailer for the original Time Crimes is below if you're interested, though odds are it won't make a lick of sense. That's OK; the more mystery, the more fun it eventually is.
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