The recently announced Audition remake ruffled a few feathers in the genre community, as fans reasonably wondered what could be done to improve on Takashi Miike’s shocking and disturbing 1999 horror.
However, director Richard Gray (Mine Games) assures fans of the original film that he’s one of them, and he’s not looking to do a disservice to Miike’s movie. Speaking to Fangoria, Gray stated that “It’s important to note that this is a new adaptation of the novel [by Ryu Murakami], not a direct remake of the film – but the knives are out for me!”
“The novel is a very deep and powerful canvas that not as many people over here have read – or far fewer than have seen the movie. Going back to the book has allowed us to go deeper in many ways, and also offer something new. We’re not looking to rehash something that’s such a classic; we really have our own take on the novel and what it has to say about misogyny. There are very strong elements in there that we think make for great timing given what’s going on in the world, and we certainly don’t want to mess up what has already been done so incredibly well… You’re going to be seeing a lot of new scenes that weren’t in the original movie.”
He also notes that producer Mario Kassar (Basic Instinct) has been looking to make a remake of Audition for 10 years, and that he’s just as passionate about making the best possible film as Gray. “He did not want to do a shitty remake, so it’s very fortunate that he’s given me the opportunity to take a crack at it.”
“It’ll definitely be violent and bloody… we’re not just remaking something for the sake of remaking it, we’re thinking about those scenes in Audition – whether it be the foot or the eyes or whatever – and how they made us feel at the time, and then trying to create something different that takes you to that same place. It’s also about understanding that violence has advanced a long way since 1999 in terms of what audiences have seen now, particularly in horror films like Saw or Hostel. It’s up to us to come up with something original, and evoke the same emotion without doing the same thing, and that’s what we’re working very hard on now.”
Gray also seems to be very much aware of the uphill struggle he’ll face to convince Miike fans to see his film. “I fully expect a year from now to have to call you from a different country, using a different name [laughs]; that’s just the hatred that will come my way if I don’t do a good job. But you’d better be in it to win it, and I’m up for the challenge. I’ve been thinking about this film for a few years now, and we think we’ve got something pretty powerful lined up.”
What do you think? It’s certainly difficult to imagine a remake topping some of the original’s most memorable sequences (that weren’t just about gore. Moving bag, anyone?) and the recent Oldboy remake was a powerful reminder of how badly these things can end up. We wouldn’t worry about the knives being out, we’d definitely be more concerned about piano wire. Kiri kiri kiri…