It was only a matter of time before the Hollywood remake factory got their grubby little paws on a bonafide classic. It’s one thing to run films like Robocop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles through the remake/reboot/sequel mill, but quite another to pounce on an unsuspecting film noir from the 1940s. That’s right: there’s a Laura remake in the works, and someone has got James Ellroy to write the script.
What is Laura, you ask? Sit down, children, and listen. Laura is film noir directed by Otto Preminger and stars Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb and Vincent Price. It centers around the investigation of the death of Laura (Gene Tierney) by a tough-guy detective who begins to fall in love with her – posthumously, of course. Tales are told of Laura, who she was, and why she died, and a picture slowly begins to build of the woman as told by those who knew her. Laura is a haunting, brilliant film noir, one that has influenced detective filmmaking ever since, up to and including David Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series.
James Ellroy’s presence on the Laura remake project is probably the best thing going for it; the only other piece of information that we have is that Stuart Till (The Tempest) will be executive producing. Granted, we do not know much more about what Ellroy’s take will be, or how he’s approaching the script, but at least he’s a writer that loves and understands what noir is all about. It’s a small conciliation, as I cannot imagine that a Laura remake will be worth anyone’s time.
Stranger things have happened, though. Perhaps Ellroy will provide a fresh view of a classic, or find a new way to adapt Laura‘s literary source material. But there is also a cast to consider, and anyone who has seen Laura must know that a cast like that one is difficult to approximate nowadays. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see who they can get to fill Gene Tierney’s shoes.