Ah, it’s the old story: boy (Hollywood studio) meets girl (film from that there overseas, which people have liked and paid money to see in the US) and boy expresses his love for girl. Then boy offers girl jewellery (an Oscar) and asks for her hand in marriage (remake!) Such is the case with The Secret in Their Eyes, the Argentinean crime thriller that nabbed the golden baldie this year, with Warner Bros. negotiating the buy the rights and hiring Breach’s Billy Ray to start developing a US version.
Secret is a tricky narrative wrapped in flashbacks that follows a policeman investigating the shockingly violent murder of a young woman. According to the LA Times, the biggest issue facing the producers is finding an American parallel for the 1970s-set focus on the country’s military junta, or deciding whether to ditch the more political aspects.
Ray spent years toiling as a writer on movies before breaking through as a director with Shattered Glass. He’s since gone on to make just Breach, but he’s also been busy as a script doctor for hire, and found himself attached to the screenplays of some high profile projects, including the 24 movie. Crafting a new version of Secret could bump him to the next level where he will never again be confused with Billy Ray Cyrus, though he’ll have to be careful of the pitfalls.
Some conversion jobs win plaudits and find success, while others (such as the recent Let Me In) do a great job of winning over sceptical people who aren’t sure the remake needed to happen in the first place - but they still don’t necessarily end up doing big business. With original filmmaker Juan Jose Campbell on board as a producer (though how much influence he’ll want or have isn’t known), Warners will no doubt be hoping this one can hit that critical and commercial sweet spot – assuming it actually manages to get through development intact…