The remake craze is so far out of hand these days — like, seriously, Memento? — it’s easy to reflexively dismiss every potential reimagining outright, particularly when you’re talking about one of the most acclaimed films of the 1950s.
But such simplicity gets scrambled when the film in question is The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 French-Italian political thriller, because it’s already been remade, and well. Aside from the unofficial 1958 remake Violent Road, Wages was adapted into William Friedkin’s 1977 film Sorcerer — a flop upon release, but since regarded as one of his finest films. So clearly, this is a movie whose story and themes are durable enough to withstand creative interpretation.
And the director this time around is certainly capable of that. Deadline reports the new Wages will come to us via Ben Wheatley, the inventive British genre director responsible for Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England. Wheatley’s very busy these days; his High Rise is awaiting American release, and he’s currently in post-production on Free Fire, featuring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and Sharlto Copley.
So in summary: yes, there are too many remakes, but Wages of Fear is clearly a movie that can take it. And Wheatley is the right filmmaker to dish it out.