No matter how recent or how relevant a past work seems to have been, there simply seems to be no stopping the remake machine. If only there were a pneumonic device — like that employed by the protagonist of Memento, with inked reminders on his chest — to remind the producers at AMBI Pictures that the already powerful, not particularly obsolete film by a director who’s very much still alive and working pretty much precludes the need for a remake. But alas. A remake of Memento is exactly what’s being developed at AMBI Pictures.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the same team that promised a remake of La Dolce Vita is behind a $200 million campaign to “bring this puzzle back to life and back into the minds of moviegoers,” as AMBI producer Monika Bacardi described in a statement. The puzzle of which Bacardi speaks is, of course, the one you already saw and likely very much enjoyed in 2000. Because that was when the first film was made. Fifteen years ago. That’s it.
The original, written by Christopher Nolan (who also directed) along with his brother Jonathan Nolan, saw Guy Pearce playing Leonard, a man who suffers severe short term memory loss and must take and caption polaroids of to remember what happened at any given moment. (Okay, that’s one way they might seek to modernize it, though the poetic backwards-filming of the act, seen in the original film’s credits, of shaking the polaroid out of existence would be far less momentous if we just saw the protagonist unselecting an Instagram filter). But Leonard’s not just trying to remember everyday necessities: his life is complicated by the fact that he’s intent on solving the mystery of who killed his wife and gave him the head injury that completely uprooted his life and experience of the world.
Though this has been officially greenlit as AMBI Pictures’ next project, it could only be the next in a long line of remakes. The company currently boasts the rights to 400 other titles, including Donnie Darko and Cruel Intentions.
“We intend to stay true to Christopher Nolan’s vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic and award-worthy as the original,” Bacardi continued in the statement. It’s a sentiment that’s almost bizarrely consistent — as though it were, indeed, coming from a literal remake machine — with what they said about the La Dolce Vita remake:
Our vision is of a contemporary story every bit as commercial, iconic and award-worthy as the original.
We can therefore deduce that, if Donnie Darko or Cruel Intentions remakes ever happen, they’ll be a. iconic and b. award-worthy. Obviously.