Steve Zaillian signs to write ‘Timecrimes’ remake for Dreamworks

When we were putting together our lists of the films we are most anticipating in 2011 here at HitFix, I didn’t have to think twice about adding “Extraterrestre” on my personal list.  That’s the new film by Nacho Vigalondo, and that’s all I need to know to be interested.  Why?  Because I’ve seen “Los Cronocrimenes,” released here as “Timecrimes,” and that convinced me that Vigalondo is a man worth paying attention to whenever he’s got new work coming.

Over the last few years, Nacho has become a fixture at Fantastic Fest, and he’s a genuine lunatic.  I think one of the most stressful moments of 2010 for me was watching Nacho body-slam Elijah Wood onto a floor covered with broken bottles and spilled beer at the end of the Fantastic Feud.  There was also an alarming moment when Nacho tried to run into a Tesla coil.  That was either the world’s most high-spirited suicide attempt, or Nacho was trying to travel back in time.

That would make sense.  Nacho’s movie is one of my favorite time travel movies because it full embraces the madness inherent to the genre, and it’s a really fun, smart, ultimately sad take on time travel.  There’s been talk of a remake of “Timecrimes” for a while now, and for a time, there was talk of David Cronenberg directing it, which I’m sure even Nacho would be excited about.  The real key to making it work, though, is getting a script right first. 

Steve Zaillian, who was originally onboard as a producer for the film when it was set up at UA, has now moved the film to Dreamworks, and it looks like he’s replacing Tim Sexton and writing it himself.  I don’t know Sexton’s work, but I can’t imagine he’s a better writer than Zaillian, and the idea of Zaillian bringing something fresh to what is already a great film has me interested to see how this one ends up.

Right now, there’s no word on who is directing the new version, but maybe Zaillian’s script will get Cronenberg to sign on after all, in which case you’re going to have to put up with a year’s worth of me losing my mind over that possibility.

Whatever the case, we’ll keep an eye on this one, and we’ll bring you more news as it becomes available.  In the meantime, get to the store and get yourself a copy of the original.  You’ll thank me later.