Recently, it was announced that last year’s popular German film “Toni Erdmann” would be remade in the English language, and Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig had been cast in the lead roles. An updated report, however, indicates negotiations are still ongoing, and — worse yet — director/producer Maren Ade will have no involvement in the remake, if it happens.
Assuming Paramount secures rights to the film and proceeds with the remake, Ade’s lack of involvement is concerning. As mentioned in a previous IndieWire discussion regarding the film’s casting, the quality of the remake will more than likely end up being determined by the director Paramount finds. As noted, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”) is currently producing the film, so he could step in as director and provide a distinct style, balancing the dramatic and comedic elements of the original film. But there has been no indication as to whether or not McKay will take the director’s chair.
A good director does not always equate to a good remake, though. We’ve seen Martin Scorsese deliver a Best Picture Winner in “The Departed,” but we’ve also seen Spike Lee turn out the box-office bomb after remaking “Oldboy.”
The casting of Nicholson and Wiig are intriguing to say the least. A unique pairing, both actors are capable of bringing their A-game to roles demanding the best. Jack Nicholson has come out of his apparent retirement to spearhead the remake, so perhaps the Hollywood legend has the passion necessary to do the acclaimed German film justice.