The urge to remake successful foreign films as Hollywood movies continues, with the news that Dean Norris (Breaking Bad, Under The Dome) is joining the powerhouse cast of The Secret In Their Eyes. The original, 2009 Argentinian film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was directed by Juan Jose Campanella (House).
This U.S version of the story will also be adapted from the source novel by writer-director Billy Ray. As a director, Ray previously helmed the thriller Breach, and his literary adaptation skills have been demonstrated particularly by his last three projects – State Of Play, The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips. While synopsis reports of The Secret In Their Eyes are slightly conflicting, it does seem clear that the new version will differ from the book somewhat in its premise.
The original story saw a former judiciary employee and a judge recount their unsuccessful attempts to solve a brutal crime, years later. The tale hangs on their mutual obsession with the case, along with that of the victim’s spouse, and of the perpetrator. The story unfolds within the context of their long-buried romantic involvement, against the backdrop of Argentina in the late 1970s, which was a time of war.
This altered version will see Chiwetel Ejiofor play either a retired legal counsellor, a former MI-5 agent, or an ex-Assistant District Attorney – depending on which report you read. Whichever backstory applies to his character, he returns to Los Angeles (or Boston) to work on a Joint FBI Task Force. Julia Roberts will play his former partner, and the unsolved crime that haunts them both will be the murder of her daughter that happened years previously. Also cast is Nicole Kidman, though it is unclear what her role will ultimately be.
It may not be an original work, but The Secret In Their Eyes is a highly anticipated project. With two Academy Award winning actresses and an Oscar nominated actor in lead roles, supported by one of the leading cast members of the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad, the film promises to deliver compelling drama and emotional depth in equal measure. There is a distribution deal already in place with STX so, although a release window has yet to be indicated, this intimate thriller should provide welcome respite from the franchise-heavy schedule facing movie theatres in the coming year.