secreteyes_remake

The Secret in Their Eyes was the surprise winner for Best Foreign Language Film during last year’s Academy Awards, beating out the expected contenders A Prophet and The White Ribbon. Many were peeved, but the picture hadn’t even been released in theaters yet, so most were unaware of what an affecting, engrossing film it actually is. Once it finally opened in the US, the picture received glowing reviews, but didn’t exactly light up the box office.

Naturally, that means it’s time for a remake. Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the original film, and they already have their director: Billy Ray, who wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Breach and Shattered Glass, and co-wrote the screenplay for the equally praised State of Play. (Psst, don’t tell anyone, but he also co-wrote Volcano, Suspect Zero and Flightplan.)

Billy Ray, not yet one to direct a film he hasn’t also written, adapted the screenplay from the original film, which in itself was adapted from the novel The Question in Their Eyes—or so its title translates to.

News of the remake comes from Deadline, comfortingly reporting that Juan Jose Campanella, who wrote and directed the original film, will serve as an executive producer. Producing the film will be Mark Johnson, who has a lengthy list of producer credits that include the upcoming Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, My Sister’s Keeper, Galaxy Quest, Donnie Brasco, The Notebook and the Narnia films. He was also recently announced as one of the producers helping to develop MYST into a feature film.

My stance on remakes hasn’t changed much over the years. Unless there’s something new that can be brought to the table other than simply the same story told in a different language, I don’t see the reason for them. And without having heard Ray’s reasons for wanting to remake the film, it’s unclear what he could possibly add that wasn’t already handled with grace and poignancy in the original. Even so, his involvement gives me hope that this is more than a mere cash grab from a studio looking for easy prestige pics. Breach and Shattered Glass were both thoughtful, low key, character driven films, so we at least know he’s suited to the material.

Now for the obligatory suggestion: If you still haven’t seen the original, I highly recommend doing so.

Here’s the plot synopsis:

Argentinean writer-director-editor Juan Jose Campanella has created a multi-layered thriller interweaving the personal lives of a state prosecution investigator and a judge, with a manhunt spanning twenty-five years. Recently retired criminal court investigator Benjamin (Ricardo Darin), decides to write a novel based on a twenty-five year old unresolved rape and murder case, which still haunts him. Sharing his plans with Irene (Soledad Villamil), the beautiful judge and former colleague he has secretly been in love with for years, Benjamins initial involvement with the case is shown through flashbacks, as he sets out to identify the murderer. But Benjamins search for the truth will put him at the center of a judicial nightmare, as the mystery of the heinous crime continues to unfold in the present, testing the limits of a man seeking justice and personal fulfillment at last.

And here’s the trailer:

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