Lawrence of Arabia

Even at over three and a half hours long, David Lean’s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia only scratches the surface of who T.E. Lawrence actually was. To tell that full story you’d probably need a much longer time. Maybe a miniseries. And someone who knows how do make epic films. There are many of those, but the one interested in the task is Roland Emmerich.

And so the director of Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day and this summer’s White House Down is currently developing a mini-series based on the life of Lawrence, with the help of biographer Michael Korda and screenwriter Rod Lurie (2011′s Straw Dogs). No network yet owns the rights.

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The Poster for ‘Straw Dogs’ is Also a Remake

Last night, director Rod Lurie debuted the poster for his remake of Straw Dogs via Twitter. Or he debuted a poster; this may not be the final promo image, but it is the latest representation of the movie to come from an official source. And it is striking as hell, because the poster recreates the poster to Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 original in minute detail, with a little added photoshoppery. Check it out after the break. Read More »

I’m going to have to hold my thoughts on this footage for Rod Lurie‘s remake of the landmark Sam Peckinpah film Straw Dogs, because after watching the trailer a couple times I’m still second-guessing what the intentions are.

What I can see is that this trailer is selling a very straight-up thriller, in which James Marsden and Kate Bosworth (both looking better than I expected — this might be a career high for Kate Bosworth, not that such a thing means much) have to deal with the advances of a bunch of tough rednecks when they move back to her hometown in Louisiana. The trailer gives most of the structure of the film away — basically two acts of intimidation followed by one extended siege setpiece — but doesn’t really give away what the movie is doing. So is it really a straight thriller? I doubt it, because that’s not in the DNA of Peckinpah’s original, and I suspect Rod Lurie’s plans to remake the film were more ambitious than delivering a mere thriller.

Check the trailer after the break and see what you think. Read More »

Rod Lurie to Direct ‘Borderline’

Rod Lurie is putting the finishing talks on his remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, and now he’s been set to direct an on the run thriller called Borderline. There’s nothing strange in that chain of events, but the trade break that announces this one references another Sam Peckinpah film, The Getaway. Coincidence, right? Probably. More details after the break. Read More »

When Hop came out last month, bringing James Marsden back into the public eye, I wondered one thing: where the hell is Straw Dogs? Rod Lurie scripted and directed a remake of Sam Peckinpah‘s polarizing film nearly two years ago, putting the movie into production in late 2009. Doing so attracted no small amount of negative attention, as the original film was one which sharply divided audiences but stands as one of Peckinpah’s most significant achievements. How does one make a new version, especially with James Marsden standing in for Dustin Hoffman? (No offense to James Marsden, but some simple truths must be faced, and one is that very few actors are equal to a young Dustin Hoffman.)

We’ve not seen any footage from Straw Dogs, and in fact we’ve had a peek at barely any materials at all. So here are some of the first real images from the movie. They’re not wildly exciting — neither will give you any idea of how Rod Lurie has actually handled the remake — but they serve to remind us that the movie does in fact exist. Read More »

Liberace's Penthouse

We’ve known the main names in Rod Lurie‘s remake of Sam Peckinpah‘s shattering film Straw Dogs. James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard are toplining the film, which is in production in Louisiana right now. But yesterday Lurie mentioned two more names on Facebook: James Woods and Dominic Purcell. (Who needs the trades when directors can throw out their own casting news?) Does the presence of a great actor like James Woods change your mind about this odd remake? Read More »

Straw Dogs Remake Rounds Up Cast

bosworth_and_skarsgard

Variety have named Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard, alongside the previously cast James Marsden, as the three key players in the Straw Dogs remake. Marsden will be playing a screenwriter relocating to Mississippi from LA, Bosworth his wife who travelled to La La Land with aspirations to become an actress, and Skarsgard her high school boyfriend who sees her return home to Mississippi as a way to reignite his lost reputation in the town.

When I heard that Straw Dogs is being remade, I wanted to hear that it would be handled by a director as unflinching and uncompromising as Sam Peckinpah, helmsman of the original (Chan Wook Park would have been ideal, for example). That it is Rod Lurie in charge, sometime film critic now best known for (occasionally polemical) political dramas like The Contender or TV’s Commander In Chief, leaves me both weary and a little curious. Whatever else he may or may not be, Lurie certainly isn’t a guy to pursue an easy gig with a simple knock-off cash in.

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