When was the last time we were really excited for a Brian De Palma film? No? How about anything with Al Pacino? Still nothing? OK, how about the combination of Brian De Palma and Al Pacino? Yeah, I thought that would get you.
It has been many years since De Palma and Pacino have worked together, but they are getting back together for Retribution. This film will tell the heartwarming tale about a hit-man afflicted with Alzheimer’s who is on the trail of a child prostitution ring in Philadelphia. Sounds like good fodder for the team that brought us Scarface and Carlito’s Way, doesn’t it? The film is based on the 2003 Belgian thriller The Memory of a Killer, which had the same basic plot, only in Dutch.
It does indeed seem like a good subject matter for a reunion of Pacino and De Palma, but at what price? Neither have been making big hits lately: De Palma’s last film was Passion in 2012, which I’m fairly positive no one saw. Pacino, meanwhile, has been working much harder, but the last thing of note he did was Spector, the TV movie about Phil Spector. Again: not the great actor’s finest hour. At the same time, perhaps a reunion of such an excellent collaborative team would result in a reinvigoration of both their careers, or at least an interesting product. I would love to see both of them making really good movies again. After all, it has been a long time since Scarface.
There is no word on when Retribution will see the light of day, but Relativity International is currently in talks with acquisitions executives to buy the story. This means that we can probably expect to hear a bit more about Retribution within the coming months. Until then, try to imagine what a latter-day Brian De Palma and Al Pacino collaboration will look like. Try really hard. I know you can do it.