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For a little while, Denzel Washington’s name was bandied about as a possible lead for Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake before the Do the Right Thing director went with Josh Brolin (a fine choice, in and of itself). As it turns out, Washington was circling a remake project. It just wasn’t Lee’s.
Instead, the Oscar winner has been offered the lead role in Billy Ray’s remake of the Argentinian thriller The Secret In Their Eyes, according to TwitchFilm. Winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Eyes tells a mystery that spans generations as a retired legal counselor continues to investigate a case that plagued him when he was young, inexperienced, and in love with his female supervisor. Washington would play the main character, who was portrayed by Ricardo Darin in the original.
Directed by Juan José Campanella, Eyes stood out for its twisty plotting, meticulous camera movement (the single-take camera pan through a full soccer stadium needs to be seen to be believed) and a whopper of an ending that was as downbeat as it was appropriate. Ray can handle the material – his Shattered Glass was damn-near flawless – particularly with Washington as a collaborator.
Now we just need to see if Denzel is interested. He just signed up for Flight with Robert Zemeckis, so an Eyes remake would come after that, should it come together at all. I’m still not a proponent of remakes. But if studios plan on continuing the lazy trend, picking strong material like Eyes and handing it over to the likes of Billy Ray and Denzel Washington is the right way to go.