McQuarrie writing and directing Ice Station Zebra
Ice Station Zebra is a cracking book and it's also a cracking film, and now it's set for a Hollywood remake and while that might fill you with some dread, after all that can often be the sign of a terrible film that captures nothing of the original. However there's a good sign for this remake in that Christopher McQuarrie is the man who will deliver the new script and direct it as well.
The 1963 novel from Alistair McLean was made into a film in 1968 by director John Sturges and starred Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine and Patrick McGoohan. It's a great Cold War, who can you trust thriller. Will the remake be as good?
It's going to be interesting to try and bring Ice Station Zebra back to life and not just follow the same story, so it's no surprise that Christopher McQuarrie has been lined up for the writing of the script for he surely will bring a new twist and surprise to it, and perhaps even modernise the story somewhat.
The original Ice Station Zebra film tells the story of a multi-national polar station which is under attack from unknown origin. Both the Soviets and America race to the location with the outward guise of investigating and saving their people however there's something else at Ice Station Zebra that they are all going after.
On the American submarine the Captain has no clue what their mission really is and is accompanied by a Soviet defector and man behind the base as well as a British civilian who is only to be known by his codename and is proving to be very secretive. The Captain trusts neither of them and is only out to protect his crew, while neither of the two passengers trusts the other, nor the Captain. To add to the intrigue it's clear that the secretive British man knows the true reason for their expedition and the race against the Russians to get to the station, but he won't say, and there just happens to be someone on board trying to sabotage the mission.
That sounds like a superb story already, the distrust and secrecy surrounding the time period and the fact that for much of the film they are in a claustrophobic location travelling beneath the ice and unable to surface just adds to it all, not forgetting the race against the Soviet team.
It's going to be an interesting project for McQuarrie, trying to update it and give it a new edge, although to be fair it already carries a strong edge as it is and I think would still work today.
Mind you the story from The Hollywood Reporter through The Playlist does tell us the rumour that he's up for consideration to direct Mission: Impossible V, something that would be another big leap for him in his directorial career. Mind you, putting the budget and size of the franchise aside, I do think the same for Ice Station Zebra.