Here’s one for the people who only read headlines: reports today of a remake of “The Deep Blue Sea,” a 1955 Anatole Litvak drama starring Vivien Leigh, triggered a number of confused cries from fans of “Deep Blue Sea,” the 1999 Renny Harlin sci-fi thriller about smart sharks who kill a team of scientists. It all began with a Daily Mail article announcing that Rachel Weisz is in “advanced talks” for the lead role in a new film adapted from the original Terence Rattigan play, upon which Litvak’s film was also based (Rattigan also wrote the screenplay himself). Terence Davies (“The House of Mirth”) will write and direct this version, which will shoot either later this year or early next. The goal is to have it released in 2011 for Rattigan’s centenary.
I admit that upon reading the first headline I’d seen regarding this remake I thought first of the shark movie. But it only takes a click and a few more lines of reading to see what the story really concerns. Of course, it is helpful that some of the film blogs covering this news make a point of addressing that this is not the more recent movie. A sampling of distinctions made can be found after the jump.
OK, first: this isn’t a story about a remake of or sequel to the giant shark “oops, I ate Sam Jackson” movie Deep Blue Sea. It is about a film version of the 1952 play by Terence Rattigan (first filmed in 1955 with Vivien Leigh starring) about a woman who leaves her husband for a troubled RAF pilot, only to be devastated when he dumps her.
At first read, this might sound like news that would stab you right in the heart. Could it be possible that the wonderful and talented Rachel Weisz would actually entertain the notion of a Deep Blue Sea remake at this point in her career? Would she follow Agora by being stalked on the seas by smart sharks who fight back, drenched, busty, and desperate? Couldn’t the sharks stick to Shark Week?
A final note: the play has been performed with that title since it was written in the 50s, but I assume they’ll have to change the name thanks to the LL Cool J shark movie. I know, I too confused my “movies based on plays about suffering housewives” and “movies about giant sharks eating Samuel L. Jackson.” It happens to the best of us.
If you’re curious about the original film of “The Deep Blue Sea,” I’m sad to inform you that it doesn’t appear available on DVD. But here’s the first part of a bad copy uploaded to YouTube for the time being: