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Jason Statham Film, Michael Bay Pilot Get Casting Directors

Jason Statham Film, Michael Bay Pilot Get Casting Directors
Photo Source: Getty Images

Who among us, at some point in the last decade or so, has not wondered, “They’re remaking that movie?! WHY!?” Maybe the original was terrible. Maybe the original was so good that it can’t be improved upon. Maybe the remake is just so utterly pointless that to contemplate the process whereby an entire studio’s worth of execs convinced themselves it was a prudent use of time and resources makes your brain hurt. Whatever. We’ve all done it because everyone has their own opinions on what should be remade, and what should be left alone.

For me, I think about all the good to decent action movies and thrillers that were made in the '70s and '80s, and what a good director could do today with HD cameras and a decent post budget. I don’t even get discouraged when they botch remakes of, say, for instance, “The Taking of Pelham 123” because at least they’ve got the right idea. So I’m encouraged, once again, to hear that a remake of “Heat” is in the works. No, not that Heat.” Another one. One that stars Burt Reynolds as a bodyguard and gambling addict who agrees to help his friend, a call girl, exact revenge on a sadistic high roller. Oh, you’ve never seen it? Well, like I said, it’s good to decent. But I think it has great potential for a remake because you can easily see the original being improved upon, plus it’s obscure enough that most of the movie-going public will think it’s new. Jason Stratham will take on the Reynolds role, but, unfortunately, we probably won’t get to see him rip off someone’s obvious toupee while sporting an even more obvious toupee, but that’s why we have Youtube now. Simon West — who directed the sure-to-be-remade-in-2030 “Conair” — is directing. Barbara Fiorentino is casting ahead of a February start in Vegas and New Orleans.

Speaking of remakes, I’ve been rewatching “The X-Files” recently on Netflix, and I’m disappointed that it hasn’t really held up as a series — at least not the early seasons. I’m thinking maybe James Wong — who wrote and produced several episodes — agrees with me, because the pilot he’s written for A&E sounds a lot like “The X-Files.” It’s called “Occult” and it’s about an FBI agent who returns to the job after recovering from a mental breakdown due to the disappearance of his wife. When he returns, he joins the agency’s task force on the occult. As you might recall, Mulder’s interest in the X-Files was largely due to his belief that they held the answers to his sister’s disappearance. He was also in the FBI. So, we’re replacing a sister with a wife and aliens with werewolfs or zombies or whatever, and boom. The pilot is cast contingent, which means that the network has to approve the cast (or at least the leads) before the pilot begins production, so there is no start date set. However, considering that Michael Bay is producing what is essentially a remake of one of the most successful shows of the '90s, I imagine casting director John Papsidera of Automatic Sweat will be able to find someone that the A&E brass can love.

I hear Burt Reynolds is available.

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