Van Looy and Schoenaerts shoot Loft remake in New Orleans
by Aurore Engelen
08/06/2011 - In 2008, a thriller took the Belgian box office by storm, attracting around 1,200,000 almost exclusively Dutch-speaking viewers, i.e. nearly one Flemish Belgian in five. Champion in all categories of domestic cinema, Erik Van Looy’s Loft [trailer] emerged as a home-grown alternative to Hollywood fare, both in terms of its genre (a pure thriller) and form.
As the Americans are always on the lookout for successful tried-and-tested formulas, US company Anonymous Content (who recently produced Jodie Foster’s The Beaver) have decided to do a remake, transposing the story from cold, damp, blue-tinged Antwerp to muggy New Orleans.
Behind the camera, Van Looy joins the ranks of European directors who go to the US to shoot the remake of their own film, as Michael Haneke did with Funny Games. Van Looy recently spoke of his delight at seeing a childhood dream come true when he glimpsed his director’s chair on set, with his name “correctly spelled”!
Bart De Pauw, who wrote the original screenplay, has understandably hired the services of a script doctor. Meanwhile, Woestijnvis (Hilde De Laere), who produced both the Belgian version and the 2010 Dutch remake, is handling production again.
But the most surprising name in the credits list is surely Matthias Schoenaerts, who, boosted by the strong impression he made at the latest Berlinale with his performance in Bullhead, has been recast in the US version of Loft as his own character Filip, created in 2008.
The film, which started shooting on Monday June 6, has a predicted budget of $15m and will be released in 2012. Moreover, the interiors will be shot partly in a studio in Belgium, which should enable the film to receive Tax Shelter funding.
(Translated from French)