Angelina Jolie was a compelling action hero in 2010's Salt, a film about a dedicated CIA agent revealed to be a Russian sleeper agent. Also starring Liev Schreiber (Ray Donavan) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Martian), the spy thriller was packed with plot twists, exciting chase sequences, and daring escapes.
Salt earned decent reviews as a fun action flick, and $118+ million in domestic box office, though it needed the heftier foreign market earnings to overcome its $110 million budget. With Salt 2 losing traction ever since Jolie rejected the initial script back in 2012, it looks like a new TV series may be our first new glimpse at the character.
Screen Daily reports that Sony Pictures Entertainment is developing a "remake" of Salt for the small screen, and pitching it to interested parties at this week's European Film Market, which runs alongside the Berlin Film Festival. "We want to bring it to Europe in a completely different way," said Diego Suarez, the senior vice president of international television production at SPE.
While it's not a new idea to make TV adaptations of big screen stories, like this season's Limitless or the short-lived Minority Report, turning a big U.S. film into a European TV series is more rare. Suarez' job, which began with Sony last September, includes amping up the number of non-US shows the studio creates. It makes the job a lot easier to use existing material and spin it off into a series, and Salt already has a proven track record with European viewers.
Suarez' resume includes his time at Fox21 Television Studios, where he adapted Latin telenovela The Queen of the South as a USA Network series, featuring Alice Braga (Elysium) and Joaquim de Almeida (Our Brand is Crisis). He also worked at Fox International Channels in Italy and Spain's Boca Boca Producciones.
While the ending of the film Salt left room for a sequel, with Evelyn vowing to remove the threat of the rest of the Russian sleeper agents, this series is being labeled as a "remake" rather than a continuation of the story. An enigmatic agent with dubious motivations, or a clever spy on the run would both work well as a series, and depends more on the actors cast and the quality of the production than on the source material's success. The larger span of TV episodes could also provide the interesting character development that the film was largely lacking.
If this new series does find a home on European TV, it will be interesting to see if any success causes further recycling on American TV. The French film La Femme Nikita, about a death-sentenced felon transformed into an elite assassin, spawned three American remakes, one on film and two on TV. It remains to be seen if Salt will have the same kind of staying power with viewers.
We'll bring you more details on the proposed Salt TV series as they become available.
Source: Screen Daily