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Having helmed key episodes of such heralded TV dramas as Dexter, Luther, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, Brian Kirk is a hotly sought director in both television and film. Within the past year he's been a contender for the director's chair on Thor 2 and then for a fresh adaptation of Robert Ludlum's The Osterman Weekend as well as a possible Tom Cruise vehicle titled Paper Wings. Talk on the latter two has subsided, and Thor: The Dark World ultimately went to another Game of Thrones director, Alan Taylor, but Kirk is poised to finally make a follow-up to his film debut, 2006's Middleton, with Universal's English-language remake of the Icelandic crime drama Jar City.
The LA Times calls Jar City a "cold-case-in-a-cold-place tale" in the vein of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Based on Arnaldur Indriðason's best-selling novel, the film focused on a detective who believes the fresh murder case he's investigating ties into a 30-year-old unsolved rape investigation. The remake rights were originally purchased by Overture Films four years back, but since the production company has gone belly up, Universal has picked up the project, seemingly because of the success of the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Contraband, which garnered mixed reviews but earned an impressive box office of $96 million worldwide.
Contraband was also based on an Icelandic thriller penned by author turned screenwriter Indriðason; it was called Reykjavik-Rotterdam. But the ties don't stop there. Icelandic auteur Baltasar Kormakur not only produced Reykjavik-Rotterdam, but also helmed Contraband as well as the original Jar City. For the American remake he is on board as a producer, and a source close to the project claims Kirk is in final negotiations to helm.
If Universal follows the plan they laid down for Contraband, the next order of business will be finding a star to front the picture. And as Contraband was produced for a lean $25 million, it's likely Jar City will have a similarly small budget. So check out the trailer below and ponder what English-speaking star would be a good fit for the role of the stoic sleuth: