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Two Rays added to Bebaluni’s 13

Variety reports that a pair of Rays as in Ray Liotta and Ray Winstone have joined the 13.

I’ve had mixed feelings about Gela Babluani’s remake for English audiences of a film that might be best left untouched. I always refer back to George Sluizer‘s remake of his own film in The Vanishing as a prime example of how you would want to avoid appeasing the popcorn market. Since he can’t really change the essence of his story but could alter the outcome I’m now more concerned if Babluani will use a black and white palette again and will audiences be distracted by the many known faces when the beauty of the original 13 (Tzameti) was that the vacant location was as unfamiliar as the character’s faces that inhibited it. These factors may just alter the film’s edgy, contained insanity. As we get closer to the filming date (November 20th in New York), Variety reports that a pair of Rays as in Ray Liotta and Ray Winstone have joined the 13.

Here is how the film cast has been partitioned: Sam Riley (who looks great in b&w with both his lead role perf in Control and in those Burberry fashion ads) plays the title character, a young man who stumbles into an underground competition where the wealthy gamble on human beings in a Russian Roulette-like competition. Mickey Rourke will play a convict in a Mexican prison who is sold into the competition. Winstone, will play a competitor who has been sprung from a mental institution to participate; 50 Cent will play an employee assigned to escort Rourke’s character to the bloody game. Jason Statham, plays a wealthy British man who bets on the competition and has a peculiar interest in one of the competitors. Liotta, who’s wrapping will play a cop on the trail of the illegal game.

Paramount Vantage is selling the film oversees but no distributor owns the domestic rights. I’m wondering why Vantage ain’t making a deal for themselves – this is a guy’s movie that in all logic is a no-brainer for box office dollars. 

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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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