Back in late 2010 we learned that THE LAST EXORCISM director Daniel Stamm had been tapped to helm the American remake of Pascal Laugier's ultraviolent tale MARTYRS, much to the dismay of fans of the disturbing French original. Now several years later Stamm has spoken out as to why the remake has yet to be seen.
Stamm is currently promoting his latest film, the excellent 13 SINS (look for that one on VOD now or in theaters April 18), and was questioned by Movies.com about the MARTYRS remake which had a script Stamm described as "spellbinding," a "beautiful character study of how far you'll go for an insane friend," and "one of the best scripts I've read, probably ever." So why haven't we seen the film? Stamm explains...
"What happened was the French had done these 30 pages of just mind-numbing, repetitive violence, which is genius because it makes you feel the actual horror of that stuff, but there is no entertainment value. And so the Americans come in and go, 'We have to spice this up and make it more entertaining,' so suddenly it's 30 pages of Saw that just didn't work.
"The American remake keeps both girls alive, whereas the French version kills one of the girls very early. If you keep both of them alive this gives you a really great chance to have this psychological play between them and the torturers. Everything was going great creatively, and then the call comes in. 'The option ran out a week ago and the French producers now want so much money that we can't make the movie.'
"I think they're now back to making the movie for like $1 million, really low budget, which I think you could almost do, it's just there's this philosophy in Hollywood that you can never go back budget-wise. As a filmmaker you are judged by that. And then there's also this concept I was unaware of called plateauing, where if you're a filmmaker who makes two movies in the same budget bracket, that becomes your thing. You are the guy for the $3 million movie, and then that's all you do. And so my agents wouldn't let me do the $1 million movie, because then that's it for you, you'll supposedly never get that bigger budget."
I'm quite alright with the remake of MARTYRS never happening, although it would've been cool to see what kind of stamp Stamm could've put on his take of it.
What say you? Would you be up for a remake of MARTYRS? Who would you like to see direct it? Spit bullets below.