South African heist film iNUMBER NUMBER to get the Hollywood remake treatment

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I think it started with Wikus Swart and his “fooken prawns” and then was definitely helped along with the 2010 Soccer World Cup and it’s non stop travelogues of our corner of the world, but soon every Denzel Washington and his Ryan Reynolds wanted to make a movie/TV series in South Africa. We were in the spotlight, and so too were the movies we make.

One such movie, writer/director Donovan Marsh’s iNumber Number, has done more than just show off to Hollywood though. It’s actually going to Hollywood.

inumbernumber_wreckin-hill

The South African heist thriller follows “an honest undercover officer (Class Act‘s Sdumo Mtshali) who, after he’s cheated from a major promotion, crosses over from cop to robber in order to orchestrate a major heist that he hopes will be a one-way ticket to easy street. Things go awry when the gang discovers his true identity and take his partner (Tsotsi‘s Prelsey Chweneyagae) hostage.”

It played earlier in the year at Toronto International Film Festival where it won plenty of praise for its superb acting, tense script and Marsh’s amazing action choreography and cinematography, all pulled off on a pittance of a budget by Hollywood standards.

All of this has helped it catch the eye of Universal Pictures who have now snapped up the rights to remake the film. Chris Morgan, who penned all of Universal’s top franchise in the Fast & Furious movies, will be producing alongside his Chris Morgan Productions producing partner Emile Gladstone.

At this stage though, it appears that Marsh will not be writing or directing the film, with Universal currently on the lookout for a replacement writer. This is a pity, as it’s clearly Marsh’s vision that made the film the success that it is, and to marginalise him like this feels like a wasted opportunity to me.

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I haven’t seen the movie myself (what with the whole not being in Toronto thing) but as you can see from the trailer below, the film has a very “Hong Kong police thriller” feel to it, similar to movies like Infernal Affairs. This is most definitely not a bad thing, and I really can’t wait to see it now.

iNumber Number releases at local cinemas on March 28, 2014.

Last Updated: November 15, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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