November 11, 2005


Johnnie To's THE MISSION has long been rumoured to be the subject of a remake, and now it's official: THE MISSION remake has been set up at Universal. The remake rights were held by Roy Lee's Vertigo Entertainment, which has a first-look deal with Universal.

The director of the remake will be Peter Berg, and I don't know which Peter Berg this is. There's about a million of them out there. The writer is Dario Scardapane whose one writing credit is POSSE, the Mario Van Peeples Western from 1993.

Here's the plot synopsis, probably taken right off the Universal press release:

Set in San Francisco and Las Vegas, "The Mission" will center on a group of criminals who bond as bodyguards for an aging crime boss. Their brotherhood is tested when one of them breaks ranks."

Call me a cynic, but unless it becomes a musical I don't have high hopes.

(On a related note, the classic Japanese disaster flick from the 70's, THE SINKING OF JAPAN, is getting remade in Japan by TBS, sporting a $20 million budget and directed by Shinji Higuchi, who directed LORELEI: WITCH OF THE SOUTH SEAS.

November 11, 2005 at 09:47 AM in News | Permalink


I was also unable to find anything out about this 'Peter Berg'.

Chances are pretty good it's this one, though:


Since nobody else under that name seems to be directing much.
Odd. Somehow 'from the writer of 'Posse' and the director of 'The Rundown' just doesn't instill me with a whole lot of faith. Ah well.

Posted by: FiveVenoms | Nov 11, 2005 11:34:29 AM

I'm pretty sure it's Peter Berg of the rundown and very bad things. I'm sure it'll be nothing like the original, with its unique minimalistic/ low budget approach to the crime genre that played up the coolness in everything by not doing/ showing that much. Peter Berg's a smart guy though, I'm sure it won't be terrible.

Posted by: pete | Nov 11, 2005 3:30:24 PM

I don't think it'll be terrible, but I'm wondering how much of what I like about THE MISSION had to do with its style and with its actors. The stripped-down story-telling, combined with the revival of some of my fave b-listers is what really made THE MISSION sing for me. I'm curious to know how just the plot would work.

I think we'll get our first taste of this with Martin Scorsese's THE DEPARTED: is it the style or the story?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Nov 12, 2005 6:31:39 AM

Trust me, it's going to hold very close to the original. We're keeping it stripped way, way down in terms of tone, style and dialogue. And yes, it is the Peter Berg who directed the "Rundown." He also directed "Friday Night Lights" which kicked ass.

Posted by: Dario Scardapane | Nov 17, 2005 1:10:24 AM

Dario, thanks for responding. It's always a special thrill when someone we write about pops up in the comments section.

By the way - can you tell us a little about yourself? The Variety article says you wrote FANTASTIC VOYAGE but is that true? The one with Raquel Welsh (I know I'm mangling her name here - sorry, I'm on a remote terminal in another country where I can't make the intrawub work too well)? Because that would pretty much kick ass if that was you, but was it?

Also - I'm sure it's way too early to ask these things -but have you guys talked about casting? One of the great things about the original was the use of some seriously talented and much neglected b-listers and it would be great to see the US casting go in that direction as well.

Good to hear from you, and thanks for taking the time.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Nov 17, 2005 4:19:16 AM

Well, *ahem*. That was unexpected. Fair enough then. I'll take your word for it, hope for the best, and pray that the 'powers above' don't interfere with your good intentions. Which realistically, is probably the death of more movies than the writers or directors, in my experience. And also, thanks for taking the time to respond here.

(mental note: Not safe to vaguely condescend to filmmakers online anymore)

Posted by: FiveVenoms | Nov 17, 2005 10:57:42 AM

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