Warner Bros and Roy Lee hatch a caper to remake French thriller ‘Sleepless Night’

At 5:00 PM this afternoon, I was onstage at the Alamo Drafthouse introducing Fantastic Fest’s first screening of Frederic Jardin’s relentlessly entertaining new action thriller “Sleepless Night,” and I made the joke as part of the introduction, “I’m glad you guys get to see it before Hollywood buys it and screws it up.”

Cut to the news breaking while that same screening is still playing that Roy Lee and Warner Bros have joined forces to remake Frederic Jardin’s relentlessly entertaining new action thriller “Sleepless Night.”

I think it’s safe to say I’m not surprised.

I’ll have my review of the film a little later today for you, but it’s safe to say I’m a big fan.  Jardin’s got a tremendous sense of action geography, and he and his co-writer Nicolas Saada have built a simple but compelling hook on which to hang an action film that does a great job of building in both tension and impact as it plays.  Tomer Sisley is the star of the French version, and I’m guessing we’ll see a Denzel or a Neeson in the new version.

It’s a natural purchase for Lee, who has built his career out of having a keen eye for material and pinning it down before anyone else can.  Evidently, they’ve been negotiating this since Toronto, and it’s only one of the films that screened at the Midnight Madness section that have already been hunted down. 

Sony owns “The Raid,” and there’s word that they may actually be racing to get the remake in theaters in place of a theatrical release of Gareth Evans’s version.  I hope that’s not true, because these movies are already great.  They need to be seen by a wide audience, and if there are remakes after that, fine.  I just don’t want the originals to get sidelined completely.

Hats off to Borys Kit for keeping a close eye on this one as it’s been developing.