Director Zhang Yimou’s remake of the Coen Brothers’ 1984 debut feature, “Blood Simple,” is being backed by Sony Pictures Classic. Today the specialty distributor announced its production partnership in addition to rights for the untitled film in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. The film will be produced by Bill Kong.
The project marks the eleventh collaboration between Zhang and the SPC team, dating back to 1991’s “Raise the Red Lantern.” The relationship includes such films as “The Story of Qiu Ju,” “Shanghai Triad,” “House of Flying Daggers and Zhang’s most recent film, the 2006 martial arts epic “Curse of the Golden Flower” starring Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat. Sony Pictures Classics also owns the rights to Zhang’s first film, 1987’s “Red Sorghum.”
Described as a “thriller-comedy remake of “Blood Simple,” the film is set in a Chinese noodle shop in a sand dune-specked desert, rather than a bar in an unnamed Texas town, according to SPC. The owner of the noodle shop’s seemingly simple plan to murder his adulterous wife and her lover quickly spins out of control after the introduction of a gun into the lives of characters more accustomed to knives and swords.
“The idea of a remake of ‘Blood Simple’ as seen through the eyes of Zhang Yimou’s masterful visual elegance and clever narrative twists is genius,” said SPC’s co-presidents and co-founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard in a joint statement. “Our continued partnership over the years with both Zhang Yimou and Bill Kong has always been so fruitful. We are excited to be back in business with them.” “I am very happy working with Sony Pictures Classics again, they have always done a great job and I am looking forward to be with them again,” added Zhang.
Zhang Yimou was chosen to create the elaborate Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics last summer, this project marks his return to filmmaking.