Is James Mangold the Latest Director Attached to LE CERCLE ROUGE Remake?

     July 30, 2012


In February 2011, we reported that Jaume Collet-Serra was attached to direct a remake of the classic 1970 Jean-Pierre Melville heist flick Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle).  Collet-Serra was the latest in long line of directors mentioned for the remake, and he followed John Woo, Johnny To, and John Hillcoat.  For those unfamiliar with the flick, here’s Criterion’s synopsis: “Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee (Gian Maria Volonté) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates.”  It’s an intense flick, but still retains the quiet coolness of Melville’s other work.

Word on the remake has been quiet since Collet-Serra was announced, and now it looks like he’s moved on, and 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold has taken his place.  Hit the jump for more.

le-cercle-rouge-movie-poster-01Speaking to CraveOnline at the Television Critics Association press tour, producer Arthur Sarkissian revealed that they plan to shoot the remake in Hong Kong and Macau, and that Mangold will direct it next summer.

That sounds a little like wishful thinking on Sarkissian’s part, at least as far as the schedule is concerned.  Mangold is currently hard at work on The Wolverine, and will be glued to that picture as it races towards a July 26, 2013 release date.  It’s tough to see Mangold down in Hong Kong and Macau working on a film where he’s likely done little, if any, pre-production, and during a time when he’ll likely be doing press for The Wolverine.

Assuming the scheduling would all work out, Sarkissian is convinced that Mangold is the right man for the job:

“James to me is a guy’s director. He’s from the world of the old school of movies, The Getaway, The Wild Bunch. I see him in that world. He loves movies. 3:10 to Yuma to me was one of the best remakes ever. It’s very difficult to top an original and I think he did that absolutely beautifully because I don’t think the Glen Ford/Delmer Daves version worked as well as the one he did. He’s great with actors. He loves gangster movies. He loves action. He’s good.”

le-cercle-rouge-movie-image-02Just as Sarkissian believes the 3:10 to Yuma remake was superior to the original, he believes Mangold can do the same when it comes to Le Cercle Rouge:

 “It’s dated. It’s just dated. The characters, if you see it, Alain Delon, Gian Maria Volante, Bourvil and Yves Montand were fantastic, but the story kind of doesn’t hold together. It falls apart and doesn’t make sense in certain areas. It’s basically pretty much the same storyline. It’s about a guy who’s in prison, who was put in prison by someone, he lost the love of his life to this gangster who put him away for five years and he comes out seeking revenge. He hooks up with this guy who’s a hitman to try and do damage to this gangster.

Jean-Pierre Melville actually took from the Cagney and Bogart movies. When Jean-Pierre Melville was directing gangster movies, he was really imitating American gangster movies. We’re basically taking his imitation to bring back to what we did.”

Best of luck with that.

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