Brick Mansions, the developing American remake of French director Pierre Morel’s Banlieue 13 (translated loosely to District 13…and there’s a ‘B’ that finds its way in there, somehow) is one of those big hit-or-miss projects. Besson’s film was a pretty interesting tale about a detective teaming up with a criminal in the Parisian slums to apprehend a gang that has possession of a nuclear weapon. And now a remake is underway over on our side of the Atlantic, with Paul Walker set to star.
There is not a great deal of inherent bad news attached to the remake, Brick Mansions: Luc Besson, co-writer of the original film, is working on the new script—an obvious plus—along with with his Taken (also directed by Morel) co-writer Robert Mark Kamen—also plus. David Belle (parkour master), star of the original film and its 2009 sequel (as well as the man responsible for this), will be reprising his role as the reformed thug Lino in Brick Mansions—another clear win. There is a bit of uncertainty when it comes to the new lead, however: as stated above, Paul Walker, known best for his role in the Fast and the Furious series, will be playing the American version of Capt. Damian Tomaso, the detective dedicated to retrieving the WMD.
The certainty is not so much derived from the idea of Walker himself, but more so from the connotation of what a Paul Walker movie has come to be. Hopefully, Brick Mansions doesn’t make of District B13 a simple high-speed, guns-a-blazin’ cop-on-the-chase film. There is more to Distict B13, and we’re hoping all of that is preserved in the remake. Of course, this is all likely a silly concern. The minds behind the film, as well as one of its star players, should indicate a maintenance of the original’s spirit. But where would the movie business be without nagging pessimism of the Internet? We’re not doubting that Walker might be able to pull of a more sincere and succulent role like the one we’re vying for…we’re just hoping the role will call for him to do so.