Steven Zaillian May Direct Remake of TIMECRIMES

     December 18, 2011

Steven Zaillian is having a very good year. One of the best screenwriters working today, Zaillian is responsible for films ranging from Schindler’s List to Gangs of New York.  This year, two of Zaillian’s films are turning lots of heads: Moneyball and David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Steve is currently in New York for the Dragon Tattoo press junket and he got the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with the prolific scribe.  While we’ll have the full interview up soon, we wanted to share a piece of news that the writer dropped.  In addition to writing, Zaillian has also gotten in the director’s chair a few times (most recently with 2006’s All the King’s Men), and during the course of the interview Zaillian revealed that he’s hoping to direct an American remake of Timecrimes.

The original Spanish film was written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo. Released in 2007, the sci-fi pic centers on a man who relives half an hour of his life three times. Zaillain said that he owns the rights and he’s hoping to write and direct an English-language remake. Hit the jump to see what he had to say, including how his version would differ from Vigalondo’s film.

steve-zaillian-imageWhen asked if he had plans to return to the director’s chair, Zaillian responded affirmatively:

“I also have been talking about the possibilities of directing this little film called Timecrimes, which is a movie that we are going to transplant to the United States… I think that would be a lot of fun and I would like to do it fast and cheap because I think that it is one of the few movies because of the way it was conceived you can do that and not sacrifice anything.  It is four characters, two locations, and it all takes place in real time in about an hour and a half.  That would be a lot of fun for me – to try and do something really fast.”

In this budget-conscious world, it’s most certainly smart to do the film on a smaller budget without having to sacrifice the movie’s integrity. He affirmed that he owns the rights to the remake, so the ball’s in his court. When asked if his version would stray much from the original, Zaillian said he plans on moving the action to the United States, but retaining the main idea:

“I think it will be similar.  The brilliance of that story is in the idea. The basic idea is that a guy relives half an hour of his life three times.  It is such a big idea and a great idea that I’m not going to change that.  The setting will change.  I will write with Tim Sexton, who wrote the initial script.  It will change, but in terms of the big picture and big idea it is going to be the same.”

While I’ve yet to see Vigalondo’s Timecrimes, I’ve heard nothing but great things. Zaillian is an undeniably talented individual, and I like the idea of keeping the budget small and letting the story take center stage. Hopefully things move forward and we’ll hear more news about the remake soon.

Keep an eye on the site, as we’ll have Steve’s full interview with Zaillian up in the next few days.  Here’s the trailer and poster for Vigalondo’s Timecrimes.


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  • Vince

    I don’t recall hearing about the first one

  • brandon


    • Jack Frost

      I’ve never heard of the first one.

      I hate remakes of American films. I have no problem with foreign films being remade if the story is good, so it can reach a bigger audience (most people don’t like to read subtitles.)

      • William R. Cousert

        Maybe this will give them an excuse to learn another language.


  • Edward Lee

    You know, actually having seen the first one, I can tell you that almost ANY remake of this film has to be an improvement on the original. Clearly, the flick was made on no budget. The story is not really all that original (it’s hard NOT to guess who’s up to what in this fairly generic time travel sci fi story), so I’ve never understood all of the love the picture received in some circles. Sure, it’s great to see that money doesn’t matter to some independent productions, but the lack of real investment did TIMECRIMES no favors.

  • 97point6

    TIMECRIMES is exactly as titled, an offense to the viewer’s clock dependent mortality. God it was bad.

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  • flash-t

    Ignore the neighsayers, Timecrimes was excellent and is more than worthy of your hour and a half. I do find it slightly condecending to hear Zallian write it off as a “little” film, granted the budget was tiny but the movie has more invention and intrigue than any sci fi film that i saw coming out of hollywood over the last 2/3 years. No offense to Zallian but i think this kind of film needs a Gilliam at the helm, not that it actually needs remade. Although the possibly the inclusion of a car chase or fighty robot might help out the easily bored.

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  • Ryan Schwebel

    This film was excellent, I really have no idea where the negativity in the previous comments comes from. I’d love to see an American version of this time travel story. The plot is quite cerebral and engrossing. It’s also easily followed because the same events play out 3 times from different perspectives. It’s only at the end that you understand the guy’s motivations behind his actions each time. I thought it was very clever and definitely worth the 90 minutes. The time flew by for me.

  • Jim/The Velvet Blog

    I watched the original on Netflix streaming the other night and thought it was terrific. I’m glad the remake will keep it simple. When I heard there was a remake in the offing, I was afraid it was going to turn into another bloated “Vanilla Sky.”