Red Granite Plans Papillon Remake

Michael Noer will direct the new take on the Steve McQueen drama


Because even classic status these days is no protection from the drive for remakes, reboots and re-imaginings, another film is headed for a new coat of cine-paint. Steve McQueen prison break biopic Papillon is being made anew by Red Granite pictures and director Michael Noer.

Prisoners writer Aaron Guzikowski is responsible for the script, which will once again be based on a memoir by Henri “Papillon” Charriere, played in the original by McQueen. It tells the story of his life as a petty criminal in 1930s France who is unjustly convicted of murder and sent packing to a penal colony that has a bad reputation for violence and corruption.

It’s there that Charriere meets the nerdy but wealthy Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), who in return for protection agrees to fund his friend’s prison escape.

No casting has been announced for the new version yet, but whoever takes the roles are stepping into some awfully big shoes. The original, despite concerns about its hefty $12 million cost (big movie money in 1973), went on to healthy success at the box office and Jerry Goldsmith’s score was nominated for an Oscar in 1974. So you know, remake team, no pressure.