Straw Dogs remake gains lead
I wrote about the remake of Straw Dogs way back in March of 2007 and I didn't even begin to think what sort of production it would be and if they would even try and remake it to be as controversial and shocking as the original.
Now, with the first news of casting, there's a mix of feelings. First it's great that the actor chosen is changing his own career direction, and secondly there's a concern that the direction of the film isn't going the way of the original for the very choice made in that leading man.
The man who is going to take up the role played by Dustin Hoffman in the original Straw Dogs is none other than X-Men team leader and romantic comedy man, James Marsden. That announcement comes from The Hollywood Reporter.
Now for people who know the original film I guess you might be feeling the same thing I was, a little torn either way. It could be great for Marsden, for if they are making this as strong as the original then he's going to be seen in a whole new light, especially if it works, but if they aren't and he's been chosen for his audience recognition, then this could be going the standard couple in strange town, pulled into a terrifying confrontation.
The original film sees Hoffman and Susan George as a couple who move to a new town and are repeatedly subjected to escalating violence from the local community, a violence which culminates in a brutal rape scene and results in Hoffman's character seeking a terrifying revenge.
It's a violent film from Sam Peckinpah written by himself and David Zelag Goodman from the novel The Siege of Trencher's Farm by Gordon Williams (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com). The film garnered a lot of controversy, and although released in 1971 it was in 1984 that it was banned in the UK until 2002.
That's a lot to live up to, and while the film does not have to live up to the original in terms of banning, what it should do is present the reality of the situation and also present that defining incident that changes the lead character in a way that would shock the audience and make them understand the decision unreservedly.
From the beginning we heard that Rod Lurie, the man behind the excellent Command in Chief, was going to take the reigns of this new Straw Dogs, writing and directing the film, and the other thing you have to say is that the fact he has managed to get hold of a rather big name for the role is a good sign.