NP's new film Brothers opens Friday, and I'll be posting reviews and relevant links this week. From today's Times, here's a look at the challenges and choices faced by director Jim Sheridan and writer David Benioff in adapting Susanne Bier's 2004 film Brodre.
With a plot virtually identical to Mr. Sheridan’s film, “Brodre” was critically acclaimed but made only a small impact in the United States. “If the critics had paid their way in,” Mr. Sheridan said, “it would have made $350,000 instead of $250,000.”
“I said, this could be remade in America, and if there are stars in it, I can get more people to see it,” he continued. “I can rant about this, but first Hollywood kills European cinema, and now it’s eating away at American independent cinema, so we’re in a time when these movies are very hard to get to the public. I think, for me, part of my brief was to get Susanne’s movie to the American public.”
The rights to “Brodre” were being sought simultaneously by the Hollywood producer Michael De Luca and Sigurjon Sighvatsson of Iceland, who eventually partnered and took their project to Ryan Kavanaugh of Relativity Media. “We showed Susanne’s film to crowds before we shot one frame of ours,” Mr. Kavanaugh said. “We wanted to see what audiences took away from it, what their feelings would be, and what we could learn from that.”