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‘Death at a Funeral’ to be Americanized

Screen Gems and Sidney Kimmel Ent. are banking on the notion that if the source material needs a bit more translating in order to appease U.S viewers then why wait a second more?

You’ve got to admit – making an English language remake of an English language film doesn’t make much sense especially when we’ve just seen the film. Much like how studios quickly grab remake rights to Korean horror films and swiftly make a go at taking a chunk of the box office, Screen Gems and Sidney Kimmel Ent. are banking on the notion that if the source material needs a bit more translating in order to appease U.S viewers then why wait a second more? Frank Oz’s 2007 version of Death at a Funeral actually had a great run during film festival season – often picking up audience awards for its laugh-out-loud comedy of manners – but the MGM release never really amounted to what could have easily have been The Full Monty-type numbers. 

On board the new version we find Aeysha Carr (who has written half a dozen episodes for the Everybody Hates Chris show) will co-write with Chris Rock who will repeat what he had done with I Think I Love My Wife, which means: script and co-write in a remake of an European film and perhaps the only thing they can change is change the English country setting and the original’s all white cast of mostly unknowns with the exception of Peter Dinklage.

Death at a Funeral is expected to go into production in Spring of 2009, but so far, no directors or ensemble cast members are attached. Variety reports that Sidney Kimmel and William Horberg will produce with Rock, Share Stallings and Laurence Malkin. Jim Tauber and original scribe Craig will be executive producers.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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