Last year we reported on the news that the rights to the French-language thriller Tell No One had been snapped up by Focus Features and Miramax Films, with super-producer Kathleen Kennedy on-board to produce. The project has been moving along slowly for the last year, but it appears things are starting to once again gain traction.
24 Frames has sources saying that New Zealand-born Australian filmmaker Andrew Dominik has been tapped to rework the story of Tell No One for English-language audiences. He's reportedly been working on a draft of the screenplay but it's unclear whether or not he will also take on directing duties (I'm certainly hoping he will).
Dominik has only a couple of features to his name but they are certainly ones to boast about: He first made the uncompromising Chopper, starring an almost unrecognizable Eric Bana before the actor hit the big time in Hollywood. The writer/director went on to make what I believe is one of the greatest films of the last decade, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I know some people think it's really slow (what's wrong with taking your time sometimes?) but to me it's an absolute masterpiece.
Although Dominik hasn't made anything that resembles the type of film Tell No One is, I think he's a real talent. Evidently I'm not the only one, as he's next writing and directing Blonde, the Marilyn Monroe biopic which will star Naomi Watts.
For those of you who don't know, Tell No One is a French thriller from 2006 (interestingly it was originally based on an English-language best-selling novel by Harlan Coben), which was about a doctor whose wife disappears and is believed to have been murdered. However one day, years later, the doctor gets mysterious e-mails that suggest his wife is still alive. "8 years ago, Alex's wife was MURDERED. Today... she e-mailed him," as the chilling tagline reads.
Much like Let the Right One In and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (both also based on best-selling novels), it was inevitable that an American version of Tell No One would surface. However, unlike those two other films, Tell No One is a movie that I don't think needs much reworking to have it translate to American audiences. It's a thrilling and fascinating story that would come across easily in any language.
The original film wasn't in any way a record-breaker at the box office, but it did gross $6 million in the U.S. in 2008, likely as a result of strong word-of-mouth. It won four César awards in its native France and was lauded critically (it holds an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes).
When the remake was announced last year it had a shooting start of this Spring and a release date of sometime next year. Evidently it hasn't started shooting yet, which is as a result of certain unnamed factors slowing it down. However, with Let Me In and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on the way, don't be surprised if we see the American version of Tell No One sooner rather than later.
Source: 24 Frames