A remake of Abel Ferrara‘s Bad Lieutenant will begin shoting in the late summer with Nicolas Cage reinterpreting Harvey Keitel‘s coked-out, self-destructive Manhattan cop and — talk about a curious but totally dynamite call — the great Werner Herzog directing. Inspired! I love it sight unseen.
The only uh-oh is that it’s being partly slapped together by the very “bad” (in a manner of speaking) Israeli producer Avi Lerner, who’s long been regarded as more of a wheeler-dealer in the Dino de Laurentiis-Eli Samaha-Giancarlo Perretti tradition of movie-producing by way of an Oriental rug salesman mentality. The more respectable Edward R. Pressman is also a producer on the film. Nobody pushes Herzog around, but the general rule-of-thumb is that a movie is only as good and smart as the lamest link in the chain.
Has this rule ever been proved wrong? Yes — when legendary schlockmeister Willam Castle helped produce Roman Polanski‘s classic Rosemary’s Baby.