We reported last week that producer Ed Pressman was working on a follow-up to his 1987 production Wall Street. Now, a report from the Los Angeles Times states that Pressman is revisiting another past project- the gritty 1992 drama The Bad Lieutenant.
But where his Wall Street project, titled Money Never Sleeps, is a sequel to the earlier film, his new version of Lieutenant is a reworking of the original’s story material to reflect changes in a post- 9/11 New York.
The new version, tentatively and not very creatively titled Bad Lieutenant ’08, is being developed by writer Billy Finkelstein, who has numerous credits writing for such television crime dramas as Murder One, Law & Order and NYPD Blue. According to the report, Finkelstein has fleshed out the background of the lead character, played by Harvey Keitel in the original, giving the previously anonymous police detective a name. Instead of the rape of a young nun, Finkelstein has him investigating the drug-related murder of five illegal immigrants.
I have to wonder though, with such changes being made to the material in an effort to, as a way to “reinvent the film in a way that would be relevant again” as Pressman states, why bother? The original stands out on its own, with no unexplored aspects that would warrant a re-examination of the material. Nor does it really have the name recognition among the average cinema-goer today to make it worth plying off the title. The script that Finkelstein has developed sounds interesting enough on its own, that they don’t have to attach it to the original.