Hollywood remake of ‘OTJ’ ‘on the books’ – critic

Critic Chris Bumbray of joblo.com also suggests Bryan Cranstron for Joel Torre's hitman role

PERFECT FOR BRYAN. Torre (right) with Anderson in 'OTJ.' Image courtesy of ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines – There was already talk of a Hollywood remake of Erik Matti’s “OTJ: On The Job” as early as April 2013, amid the film’s world premiere at the Directors Fortnight of the 66th Cannes International Film Festival, the annual event held around midyear.

According to Canadian film critic Chris Bumbray, the remake is “already on the books.” 

In his review of the film for joblo.com, Bumbray suggested 3-time Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston (of the recently concluded Emmy-winning show “Breaking Bad”) for the part of the hard-core hitman Tatang played by Joel Torre.

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Los Angeles-based production company XYZ Films has bought the story rights of “OTJ” and tapped film director Baltasar Kormakur of Iceland (“Contraband,” “2 Guns”).

In recent years, Hollywood has turned to Asia for its remakes – e.g. Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed,” based on the crime thriller “Infernal Affairs” by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. With rare exceptions like “The Magnificent Seven” (adapted from Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai”), Hollywood has conventionally relied on European material, particularly French cinema. The planned “OTJ” remake will be another addition to Hollywood’s Asian connection if completed.

Matti has recently figured in a brief word war with members of the Film Academy of the Philippines after it selected Hannah Espia’s “Transit” for submission to Hollywood’s Academy Awards, for its consideration in the Foreign-Language Film Category. – Rappler.com

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