Brian De Palma has been actively looking for new film projects, and it looks like he will shoot the film Passion in the next few months. But he’s also setting up something to do later this year: if things work out, a deal in the works at the Berlin Film Festival will see the director behind the camera for a remake of the 1986 Burt Reynolds thriller Heat. (Released in the US in ’87, so you’ll often see it listed as an ’87 movie.)

Jason Statham will be in the Reynolds role. More detail follows, including the reason I’m fairly interested in this remake.

The good news here is that Heat will be scripted by William Goldman, who wrote the novel upon which the original film was based, and also scripted that movie. Goldman has basically disavowed the original film, and with good reason: it’s a very sloppy piece of work with a sluggish performance from Reynolds and a revolving door of directors. (John Boorman left just before shooting, and Dick Richards, credited as R.M. Richards and the uncredited Jerry Jameson directed the movie.)

So this is Goldman’s chance to get it right, and I hope he won’t waste it. While I’m not thrilled that a couple of De Palma’s recent development efforts have been remakes, Heat is a movie that deserves to be remade, and with Goldman scripting I can hope for good things. (For what its worth, this will be Goldman’s first produced script since Dreamcatcher in 2003. Good that he doesn’t have to have that as his most recent film any longer.)

Here’s Heat in a nutshell:

Las Vegas is the backdrop for this film’s torrid action when hard-hitting bodyguard Nick Escalante puts his heart and soul into protecting his friends. Crippled by his gambling addiction, Nick is spurred to act when his ex-girlfriend is badly beaten by the son of a notorious mobster.

There is no easily-embeddable trailer for the original, but the film is streaming on Netflix now. [Deadline]

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