Affleck directing Tell No One remake
The remake of the French thriller Ne le dis à personne or Tell No One (Filmstalker review), which is an adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel, came to light back in April 2009 and I wasn't too excited about the idea, after all the original was good. That said, there's news coming out about the people behind the Hollywood remake and it's startin to sound rather interesting.
The original film saw Guillaume Canet adapted the Harlan Coben novel with Philippe Lefebvre with Canet directing the French adaptation rather well pulling in a strong cast of François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, Kristin Scott Thomas, François Berléand, Nathalie Baye, Jean Rochefort, Marina Hands.
It was a strong thriller, and Europeans do thrillers well, but to be fair there are some in Hollywood who can turn out an excellent thriller given the opportunity. That's why I'm turning around my ideas of a remake of Tell No One, for originally I wasn't too convinced about the idea, and although news came that Andrew Dominik, who wrote and directed Chopper and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, was on board to write the new version, I still wasn't convinced that it was going to turn out well.
Of course then I was thinking that Dominik was going to direct, but that seems to have changed and this could be the final nudge for me to start to look forward to an English language remake. Why so? Well Ben Affleck is the man who has been given the task of directing the film.
There is a kink in the story though, Andrew Dominik isn't the writer anymore it's Chris Terrio who has written Argo that Affleck is about to direct next, that's the film that's based on a true story where the CIA created a fake film production in order to smuggle a group of hostages out of Iran.
Mind you, considering what Argo could be I'm not sure that's such a bad thing, and Affleck and Terrio have no doubt already built a rapport together, it could be a good second film for them.
There are a number of big names behind the film too, Warner and Universal are behind it with a connection to EuroCorp with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall producing. The story from Deadline opens with a rather condescending statement about the French version of the film:
"Harlan Coben, one of the biggest-selling mystery writers in America, is finally in line to have one of his books made into a major Hollywood film. And all he had to do was make a detour through France."
Well I'm sure the French production, French cinema and French audiences wouldn't have seen it as a distracting detour, either would I have, this is the original film and it's a damn good thriller at that, read the Filmstalker review for reasons why, or better still go and watch it.
Anyway, the article has a few more digs at the French and French cinema, a little embarrassingly if you ask me for French thrillers can easily outclass Hollywood. Let's shuffle on quietly and see if we can't get back to the core of the story.
Ben Affleck is directing an English language version of Harlan Coben's Tell No One adapted by Chris Terrio and perhaps with some help from Andrew Dominick. Notably this may be an adaptation direct from Coben's novel rather than a remake of the French adaptation, but then the French film managed to adapt the story well for the big screen despite the plot not being so ideal for a film. So maybe it'll take a good few pointers from their adaptation.
Saying that though, there were issues with the execution, and probably unsurprisingly considering the complex plot and the way it plays out, but it can be done, and this seems a great team to do it.
I've just realised I've not talked about the plot. It follows a paediatrician who is out skinny dipping with his wife one night who is assaulted and knocked out. His wife goes missing and eventually is announced as a victim of a serial killer. Years later, having never really recovered from the events of those days, more bodies are found in the area and he becomes a suspect once again. Then something amazing happens, he's sent a video, a video that seems to include footage of his wife, and its recent footage.
Sounds good, well for once I'm not sure if you should wait for the Affleck directed version or see the French version beforehand. If Affleck is on form and he has a strong script we could be seeing an excellent thriller so it would be great to see the twists and turns for the first time in his film.