Re­mak­ing a mur­derer

How to have an­other crack at your own film (with Liam Nee­son in a snow­plough)

Empire (UK) - - PRE.VIEW - ALEX GOD­FREY

IF NEW THRILLER Cold Pur­suit, star­ring Liam Nee­son as your reg­u­lar snow-plough­ing vig­i­lante, seems fa­mil­iar, that’s be­cause it’s a re­make of 2014 film In Or­der Of Dis­ap­pear­ance. Nor­we­gian film­maker Hans Pet­ter Moland — who made both films — talks Em­pire through the bonkers déjà-vu process of film­ing your own film again for an English­language au­di­ence.

DON’T AU­TO­MAT­I­CALLY DO IT

“The orig­i­nal got a ter­rific re­sponse at the Ber­lin [in­ter­na­tional film] fes­ti­val and the next morn­ing, Amer­ica came call­ing about a re­make. I had to give it a se­ri­ous think. It was a lit­tle bit like if you put on a play in Nor­way and some­body asks you to bring it to Broad­way. It’s a chance to speak to a dif­fer­ent au­di­ence.”

DE­VELOP IT WITH A DIF­FER­ENT STAR

“Liam was part of the sug­gested set-up, and that made it at­trac­tive and tempt­ing. He was clearly in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing the hu­mor­ous as­pects of this film. And he didn’t just want to plug and play the Nor­we­gian orig­i­nal. It was a good process to try and make a good film and to un­der­stand that char­ac­ter.”

EX­PLORE NEW IDEAS

“Be­cause it’s in an Amer­i­can set­ting — the Rocky Moun­tains — some new el­e­ments are brought into it. In­stead of a Balkan gang it’s a Na­tive Amer­i­can gang, which means the satire and prej­u­dices be­ing played with are trans­posed into other cul­tural dif­fer­ences.”

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR TONE

“I lived in Amer­ica for many years, so mak­ing it in Amer­ica with Amer­i­cans wasn’t a big deal to me. I felt com­fort­able with Amer­i­can hu­mour and the Amer­i­can way of life. I feel that my sense of hu­mour is not a generic Nordic brand — my dark, dry hu­mour is just as much like a Wal­ter Matthau or Billy Wilder film. So my sense of hu­mour is not for­eign to Amer­ica.”

SPEND THE BIG­GER BUD­GET

“We had re­sources to achieve things that we couldn’t in the orig­i­nal. We were able to build big­ger sets, which I think con­trib­uted greatly to the story: it could place the Na­tive Amer­i­can gang in a set­ting which res­onates with their par­tic­u­lar predica­ment. But film­mak­ing is funny. It ul­ti­mately boils down to a cam­era and some ac­tors in front of it and a few peo­ple be­hind it.”

COLD PUR­SUIT IS IN CIN­E­MAS FROM 22 FE­BRU­ARY

Above: Nels Cox­man (Liam Nee­son) seeks Rocky-sloped re­venge.Right: Nee­son ex­plores “the hu­mor­ous as­pects” of be­ing threat­ened by a gang mem­ber with a gun.

Hans Pet­ter Moland spoke to Em­pire from his home in Oslo on 9 Novem­ber.

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