Though my feelings about the upcoming American remake of Jacques Audiard’s terrific 2009 prison drama A Prophet remain decidedly mixed, news that novelist Dennis Lehane is now attached to write the screenplay for the remake gives me some hope that the film could turn out all right.
After all, Lehane’s writing ability is undeniable; the talented novelist has turned out many terrific crime thrillers throughout his career, including Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone. Lehane is also no stranger to screenwriting. His work on season 4 of HBO’s The Wire earned him and the other writers an Edgar Award for Best Television Feature and a Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Dramatic Series. Lehane also served as an executive producer on Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shutter Island and recently reteamed with HBO to write for the currently airing fourth season of Boardwalk Empire.
After it was previously announced that Fast Five producer Neal H. Moritz (of Original Film) would be overseeing the remake of A Prophet, it was unclear to me whether the American remake would attempt to maintain the quietly searing tension of the original or opt for a more action-packed feel. The story, about a man rising through the ranks of a prison crime syndicate, is a promising one, and Lehane’s involvement is certainly a step in the right direction.
In addition to penning A Prophet, Lehane recently agreed to write the script for a feature film adaptation of Joshua Davis’ forthcoming article for Epic Magazine about the Silk Road, an online black market that closed down earlier this month. 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment snapped up the rights to the adaptation, which will focus on the Silk Road’s alleged founder, Ross Ulbricht.
Neither of the projects have a planned release date as of yet but Lehane’s work will next be seen in Ben Affleck’s adaptation of his novel Live By Night, and in Michaël R. Roskam’s crime drama Animal Rescue, both set to debut in 2014.
Is remaking A Prophet a good idea? Does Lehane’s involvement give you new hope for the film? Let us know in the comments section!