Well, you have all watched them and loved them. But these ideas didn’t originate in Hollywood first, while many Hollywood films are dubbed and remade around the world, Hollywood looks for inspiration too at times. Here are some of the movies of the recent past which were the remakes of foreign films.
The Departed (2006):Original: Infernal Affairs – Chinese language film 2002)
The Departed is one of the best movies ever made by legendary director Martin Scorcese. This hard hitting crime thriller was not only a box office success, but went on to win four academy awards including best picture. Even the original film, Infernal Affairs had received a great critical reception and was a big hit in Hong Kong.
Truth Bomb: Martin Scorsese deliberately chose not to watch Infernal Affairs (2002) until after he’d completed The Departed (2006)
Vanilla Sky (2001):Original: Abre los ojos – Spanish Film (1997)
Vanilla Sky is one of the highlights of Tom Cruise’s career. This science fiction thriller was a remake of the 1997 Spanish movie ‘Abre Los Ojos’ which was also dubbed and released in English as ‘Open Your Eyes’. Vanilla Sky was a huge success at the box office and received many nominations. The English remake of ‘Abre los ojos’, ‘Open Your Eyes’ was ranked No. 84 in the Top 100 Sci-Fi List by the Online Film Critics Society.
Truth Bomb: Spanish beauty Penélope Cruz has starred as starred as Sofia in both the versions.
City of Angels (1998):Original: Der Himmel über Berlin – A German film (1987)
Nicolas Cage has done very few romantic films and ‘City of Angels’ is one of them. This 1998 hit movie is a loosely based remake of the German film ‘Der Himmel über Berlin’. While City of Angels is set in Los Angeles, as the name suggests, Der Himmel über Berlin is set in Berlin. This German movie was dubbed in English in the name ‘Wings of Desire’.
Truth Bomb: The original German movie was followed by a sequel named ‘In weiter Ferne, so nah!’ in 1993.
Godzilla (1998, 2014):Original: Godzilla – A Japanese film (1954)
Godzilla is a very long running franchise and there have been 24 films on it in different languages till date. The 1998 Godzilla was the first Godzilla film to be completed by a Hollywood studio. Although not a complete remake, the concept and theme of this movie is inspired by the 1954 Japanese movie Godzilla. The 2014 Hollywood remake of this film has a plot relating to the events that occurred in the 1954 movie as well.
Truth Bomb: Despite the less-than-expected box office performance, the 1998 film still made more money worldwide than any other American movie based on a foreign film.
Insomnia (2002):Original: Insomnia – A Norwegian film (1997)
Christopher Nolan is one of the genius directors in Hollywood who has directed some iconic movies. But for 2002’s Insomnia, even he looked for inspiration from a Norwegian movie of the same name. The film did quite well at the box office, although it was not much famous as some of the other Nolan’s movies.
Truth Bomb: As of 2016, this is the only film directed by Christopher Nolan in which Nolan does not have an official writing credit – even though he wrote the final draft of the screenplay himself.
Oldboy (2013):Original: Oldboy – A South Korean film (2003)
This is one of the few instances of the remake where the original foreign language film is more famous than its Hollywood remake. Oldboy is a very hard hitting film and is not meant for the sensitive audience. After a very famous outing in South Korea, the original movie has grossed more money than its 2013 remake. The remake unfortunately couldn’t provide neither the quality nor the intensity that the original movie had.
Truth Bomb: “I’ve never been more shocked and surprised by an ending since maybe like The Sixth Sense (1999),” said Elizabeth Olsen the female lead of the film at its New York premiere.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011):Original: Män som hatar kvinnor – A Swedish Film (2009)
The ‘Millennium’ novel series written by Stieg Larsson inspired the three Swedish movies, namely ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire’ and ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest’ which were all released in the same year. The first part of this was remade in English with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in lead roles. The Swedish films which were dubbed and were also very famous and yet the English remake did quite well at the box office. The film was nominated for five academy awards and gave the actress Rooney Mara a big break.
Truth Bomb: The movie was shot in Sweden during one of the coldest winters in over 20 years.