Straw Dogs, the brutal 1971 movie from Sam Peckinpah, is getting a revisit by writer/director Rod Lurie (The Last Castle). Kate Bosworth, (21), James Marsden, and Alexander Skarsgard are set to star in the film which will begin shooting in August.
A bit different from the original movie's synopsis, Luries' version goes like this: "Marsden plays a Hollywood screenwriter who relocates with his wife to her hometown in Mississippi. Bosworth plays the wife, who left the south for L.A. to become an actress and returns home so her husband can finish the script in quiet. Skarsgard plays her high school boyfriend, an ex-football hero who sees the return of his former girlfriend as a way to reclaim glory."
Lurie and Marc Frydman are producing the film through Battleplan Productions. The man who brought the story to Screen Gems, Gilbert Dumontet, will executive produce.
For those who haven't seen the (pretty great) original, it's worth noting that a young Dustin Hoffman played the role that has now become the "Hollywood screenwriter," (Hoffman's character, David, was a mathematician). Peckinpah's version was a bit more extensive than this plot summary seems to be, as the 1971 film took place in Great Britain with more than just one man as a "threat." The film ends with a spectacular climax of unexpected violence as David tries to protect his wife (and his own shreds of masculinity) from a group of local men who "abused" her previously.
And as brutal as the film was, Straw Dogs always felt like it was trying to uncover the ugly reality of violence, instead of sensationalizing it. Despite this, Variety's description of this new version makes it sound like this could be a romantic comedy.
It's not likely that Lurie will maintain the slow pacing set by Peckinpah's version, but it's more than certain this new version of Straw Dogs will amp up the visceral violence in a way possibly similar to the recent remake of Last House on the Left. Especially with his embodiment of Cyclops/Scott Summers in the X-Men trilogy, he's shown his chops to play calm-ish, while also being able to unleash a natural rage. And as for Alexander Skarsgard, just google the name; (or watch another episode of "True Blood.") His crazy eyes have a lot of potential.