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Ridley Scott remaking Red Riding Trilogy

YorkshireRipper.jpgThe Red Riding Trilogy was a series of three British Television films that connects characters and stories of police power and corruption together across the backdrop of the murders of the Yorkshire Ripper and the investigation and eventual capture. The three films take place in 1974, 1980 and 1983, and area adapted from the four novels by David Pearce (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com).

The series was dark, gritty, very realistic and were far from a Hollywood film as you could imagine, so it's with great surprise that we hear today that Ridley Scott is looking into remaking them for Hollywood, and not only that but compressing the films into one.

The three original films are Julian Jarrold's Red Riding: 1974 James Marsh's Red Riding: 1980 and Anand Tucker's Red Riding: 1983, but they share the same screenwriter, Tony Grisoni, and the cast includes Sean Bean, Paddy Considine, Mark Addy, Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall.

We'd already heard that they were getting various releases outside of television, and quite rightly so, but to hear that they are now being remade and probably seeing the story transplanted to a American setting. The Yorkshire Ripper in America?

Variety through JoBlo reports that Columbia Pictures has purchased the rights to remake the series and is negotiating with Steve Zaillian to adapt the script and Ridley Scott to direct the film.

I have to say that the choice of Steve Zaillian is a strong one, if you're thinking of such films as Awakenings, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Schindler's List, Clear and Present Danger, Mission: Impossible, Gangs of New York, The Interpreter, All the King's Men, American Gangster, all the elements you could want in a scriptwriter for the Red Riding Trilogy are there – reality, grittiness, handling multiple plot threads and stories, pulling complex, real life characters onto the screen, etc. However there's not one that really captures it all, so this film might just be a strong challenge for him.

It would also be a strong challenge for Ridley Scott, I mean compressing a story that has already been compressed from four novels to three mini-series into one film is going to be a hell of a difficult task. We're talking a film that would span a decade and cover a huge investigation and a great many stories and characters, and then, which I feel is the biggest point here, transferring the whole story to America.

This is a story that works around the Yorkshire Ripper and the corruption and operation of the British police force through that time, how does any of that work in America?

As far as I can see this would be a complete rewrite, and I just don't understand what's going to be kept in the final film from the original apart from set-ups and plot turns and twists. Characters, the way the police operate, the killer, everything else is going to have to be changed for the American version, little will remain.

I honestly don't understand why it has to be Americanised, why couldn't they just make a Hollywood version of the British story? Are the writers and directors not good enough to make it enjoyable for an American audience? Are the American audience so negative to non-American films that they would boycott it?

This is almost as bad as making a film out of a toy.



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