Zhang Yimou Remaking The Coen Bothers' Blood Simple?

Variety have announced a new project from Zhang Yimou, director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers. They call it Amazing Tales – Three Guns and describe it as having two separate parts, one a thriller and the other a comedy. It's hard to not suspect this is the result of a bad translation and simply, the film is to be a comedy-thriller or, as we might say, one part comedy, one part thriller, just mixed parts.

Here's the bizarre bit, though. Monkey Peaches are reporting a rumor that the film is a remake of Blood Simple. Very, very odd.

The exceptional and distinguished Blood Simple, in case you haven't seen it, was the first feature by Joel and Ethan Coen and pretty much set out their most played pieces out on the chessboard. There are double crosses, illicit affairs and a post modern melange of noir tropes. In just this film and their next, the delirious screwball comedy Raising Arizona, you can pretty much see the entire Coens film catalog] in embryo.

The Monkey Peaches report makes it sound like the new project has taken the Blood Simple plot and relocated it in both space and time. It seems that they're hoping for some martial arts in there too, which the Coens certainly didn't include. The site appears to have contacted Zhang Welping, the film's producer, but he wouldn't commit to either a full denial or confirmation. Instead, the best Monkey Peaches could attribute to him is that it was "possible" that the film was based upon "a Hollywood movie".

Remakes are controversial at the best of times, but I suspect this one sounds more palatable than most, spiced by the big changes necessary. Personally, I think nothing is sacred and anything stands to be done over and the resulting remake need only be judged once it is finished, even when the original is a film I love as much as those by the Coens'.

It was previously reported that Zhang Yimou would next be making a film about the Nanking Massacre, based upon a novel by Yan Geling. Unless I'm very much mistaken, a previous novel by Geling was adapted into a screenplay by Ang Lee so, from my limited vantage point on Chinese Culture, she appears to be a not insignificant writer. I'm hopeful we'll also get to see that project come to fruition one day.