English-language remakes of foreign films aren’t always fantastic (perhaps because “subtitles are too daunting” is kinda flimsy as the primary vision for a film); one recent example was the underwhelming Nicole Kidman-starring Secret in Their Eyes, a remake of the 2009 Argentinian film El secreto de sus ojos. Now, Kidman and Amara Karan (who gave one of the best performances on TV this year in The Night Of) will potentially be starring in a remake of 2011 French film The Intouchables. That movie, at least, wasn’t all that great to begin with — so maybe it can only get better from here?
The original film starred François Cluzet as an ultra-rich French quadriplegic and Omar Sy as a Senegalese-born man who becomes his caretaker; it was a buddy movie that was well-received in France, particularly in its earnings. Internationally, it made $416 million, but polarized critics in America. Some lauded it as an empathic “feel good” movie, but others demurred — The Atlantic argued that it “examines thorny topical issues in only the most superficial, conventional way,” while David Denby at the New Yorker described how it “becomes disastrously condescending: the black man, who’s crude, sexy, and a great dancer, liberates the frozen white man.” Wesley Morris at the Boston Globe expressed something similar, with the amusing addition that “Intouchables sounds like a fancy brand name for the plastic bags you use to pick up after your do.” He likewise had words for the movie’s sentimentalized race/class dynamic, and its usage of regressive clichés therein.
But, new adaptation… more nuanced take? Maybe? The film, which is being made by The Weinstein Company, was already announced as starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart in the two lead roles. Now, Deadline reports that Karan is near the end of deals to join the film, with TWC likewise aiming to get Kidman onboard.
Outside of whatever this turns out to be, Kidman’s been aligning herself with some pretty intriguing projects lately — from the upcoming HBO drama Big Little Lies to Top of the Lake‘s second season to Sofia Coppola’s next film, The Beguiled, to Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer.