With Hollywood seemingly running out of ideas, sequels and prequels aren’t enough, remakes are a perfect way to reignite interest in a franchise or re-explore a past idea. However films are not always transparent about what they’re remaking either choosing relatively unknown films or changing the title, making for some very sneaky tactics. We think we’re getting something original when in actuality we’re being served up the same dish. So here are 6 movies you (probably) didn’t know are remakes.
1. The Departed (2006) remake of Infernal Affairs (2002)
Martin Scorsese was finally awarded his long due Best director Oscar for this gritty crime drama set within Boston’s criminal underworld. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Matt Damon going undercover on opposite sides of the law, the film is a remake of Hong Kong action flick, Infernal Affairs. The film went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Adapted screenplay by William Monahan.
2. Never Say Never Again (1983) remake of Thunderball (1965)
A legal dispute involving the rights to Thunderball led to this remake of the classic Bond film 18 years later. Screenwriter Kevin McClory was awarded certain rights to the novel having co-penned Thunderball and set about a revisit in 1983, bringing back ex-Bond Sean Connery at the age of 52. Initially planned to kick start a rival series it went up against Cubby Broccoli’s Octopussy, but was unable to match it’s success.
3. Ocean’s Eleven (2001) remake of Ocean’s 11 (1960)
Vegas casino’s were hit 40 years before George Clooney and crew arrived to relieve the city of some cash. Starring five members of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, Ocean’s 11 was released in 1960. Only the Danny Ocean character was carried over from the original and the heist itself was changed in this case they took on five casino’s as opposed to Clooney’s target of three.
4. Heat (1995) remake of L.A. Takedown (1989)
When Michael Mann was commissioned by NBC to produce a new television show, he remembered an investigation ex-police detective Chuck Adamson told him. Originally produced as a pilot, the series was not picked up by the network and so it was released as a made for TV movie called L.A. Takedown. Six years later, Mann returned to the idea directing with a bigger budget and a more star studded cast in the form of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
5. Last Man Standing (1996) remake of Yojimbo (1961)
Most people know that Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars (1964) is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. However a second remake came in the form of Walter Hill’s Last Man Standing. The setting was relocated to prohibition-era Texas as Bruce Willis’ drifter strolls into the town of Jericho where two gangs are feuding. The style of Leone’s film clearly influenced the look with it’s wild west town and quick draw gunfights used extensively.
6. Red Dragon (2002) remake of Manhunter (1986)
Although he came to define the role, Anthony Hopkins wasn’t the first to play Dr. Hannibal Lecter. That honour went to fellow British actor Brian Cox in 1986 for Michael Mann’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon. In 2002 the novel was adapted again under it’s original title to continue the franchise started by Silence of the lambs (1991), with Hopkins making a chilling return as the sinister serial killer.