As the Buddhism-quoting opening of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge reinforces, predestination is unavoidable—men whose paths were meant to cross always will, and any film held in high regard decades after it was made will always get a remake. (See also: Every other news story this week.) When it comes The Red Circle, a remake has been in the works for a while, with scripts from Fringe’s Jeff Pinker and, most recently, Eastern Promises’ Steven Knight being passed around, and various directors like John Woo and John Hillcoat attached, and at one time a rumored cast that included Liam Neeson, Chow Yun-Fat, Orlando Bloom, Tim Roth, and original star Alain Delon.
Now it seems as though the drive to create a rehashed version of Melville’s painstakingly realized crime thriller has reached its acceptably perfunctory, solid-C anticlimax, with Deadline reporting that it’s just been handed over to Jaume Collett-Serra, the director of House Of Wax, Orphan, and Unknown, and one of the “rising stars” of the industry thanks to his visionary way with meeting a budget. Like Collett-Serra’s upcoming Dracula offshoot Harker, which will recast Bram Stoker’s tertiary character as a detective working in Scotland Yard, the new Red Circle is a reimagining that will see a change of scenery from Paris to Hong Kong, and most likely will replace Melville’s carefully constructed, mostly dialogue-free scenes of suspense with Neeson punching things. Yes, that sounds about right.