District 13 remake or American sequel?
When a foreign non-English language film does well American studios are all over it, especially when it does well in English language countries, for there's always an opportunity to make the same film in English and get an audience to see it and earn some money. Of course there's then always the opportunity to throw more budget at it and chant the words "more" and "bigger" at it to get even more cash.
So it's no surprise that District 13 is being lined up for a remake, although it is a surprise that it's taken this long, the original was made in 2004 and there's been a sequel since.
Luc Besson has written a script for the remake and we all know who he is, he wrote the script for the first one and the scenario for the sequel, amongst writing, directing and working on a host of other films.
David Belle, if you're not familiar with the other two films or one of the main aspects of the films Parkour, you won't know him. He stars in both of the original films and is the man who is credited with forming the movement, sport, or whatever you would like to call it of Parkour, and not only is he awesome at Parkour (obviously) but he does really well in the films too.
So now he's moving to the American version, and the word from Deadline is that Paul Walker is in talks to be the man who stands up alongside him in the story, a story which sounds very similar to the original.
It will be set in Chicago where an undercover detective is trying to find a weapon of mass destruction (that's become such as catchphrase these days) which was stolen by a drug dealer and hidden in the ghetto regions of the city called the Brick Mansions.
So far it sounds nigh on identical. He enlists the help of a character called Lino who knows Brick Mansions really well and is the only one there standing up to the drug dealers. Again, sounds very similar.
Besson's EuroCorp company is directing the film and it was a stipulation that Belle was part of the American version, and quite rightly so I'd say, in fact they should have taken Cyril Raffaelli as well.
There could be more stipulations, we don't know yet, one could be that Pierre Morel should direct as he directed the original and has moved across the ocean to direct Taken (Filmstalker review), which proved successful and From Paris With Love, which proved not so.
However I don't think it will be Morel that takes the directorial role, I think we'll be seeing an American director taking the task in hand don't you think?