"The story is recycled out of a 1983 French film named
Les Comperes, as part of a trend in which Hollywood buys French comedies and experiments on them to see if they can be made in English with all the humor taken out."
Say you're a writer/director who has managed to make a good film outside of the Hollywood system. Congratulations! Hollywood is so impressed with your movie that they want make it for themselves and change everything. You say yes
, and heck, they might even let you direct it, but don't hold your breath. First off, your script needs a total rewrite
to massage out all the Values Dissonance
. Then all your unknown actors are swapped out for Hollywood stars. The setting will probably get changed
, and production values get upgraded by a factor of ten. The resulting Foreign Remake might turn out better or worse than the original depending on the minds at work.
Say you're a Hollywood veteran who is spending a quiet evening on the internet. Suddenly you stumble across the synopsis for a Bollywood movie that looks suspiciously like the popular film you made three years ago. In fact, it's the exact same premise
. And it was released to theaters a year ago. Why haven't you heard anything about this until now? After watching the DVD, you discover that it's a garbled version of your film, where everyone is singing and dancing
, and the sex scene is replaced with a walk in the rain.
What the hell?
Ultimately, whenever something is remade in a different country, it's a foreign remake
. Hollywood and Bollywood tend to get the most attention for theirs, but it happens all over. India, in fact, often does this internally
: because different parts of India have different official languages, successful movies in one language will often be remade in one or several other languages, for the benefit of a different audience.
Related to The Remake
. See also Transatlantic Equivalent
, which is exclusive to television.
Contrast with Canada Does Not Exist
, where by design or by imposition, Canadians make their own foreign remakes without
making a domestic original first.
Listed in alphabetical order with American release name and Original name (plus years and country of origin for the original ones)
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American/English-language versions of foreign films
- Algiers (1938) — Pepe Le Moko (France, 1937)
- Astro Boy (2009)
- Bangkok Dangerous (2008) — Bangkok Dangerous (Thailand, 2000): Both versions directed by the Pang Brothers.
- Barefoot (2014) — Barfuss (Germany, 2005)
- Big (1988) — Da grande (Italy, 1987)
- The Birdcage (1996) — La Cage aux folles (France, 1978)
- Brothers (2009) — Brøders (Denmark, 2004)
- Buddy Buddy (1981) — L'emmerdeur (A Pain in the... ) (France, 1973)
- City of Angels (1998) — Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (West Germany, 1987)
- Cousins (1989) — Cousin Cousine (France, 1975)
- Crackers (1984) — Big Deal on Madonna Street/I soliti ignoti (Italy, 1974). Also remade as Welcome to Collinwood (2002).
- Criminal (2004) — Nueve Reinas (Argentina, 2000)
- Death at a Funeral (2010) — Death at a Funeral (UK, 2007)
- The Debt (2011) — The Debt (Israel, 2007)
- The Departed (2006) — Infernal Affairs (Hongkong, 2002)
- Diabolique (1996) — Les Diaboliques (France, 1955)
- Dinner for Schmucks — Le dîner de cons, Dinner for Idiots/The Dinner Game (France, 1998)
- The Eye (2008) — Gin Gwai (Malaysia, 2002)
- Father's Day (1997) — Les Compères (France, 1983)
- Funny Games (2007, US-French co-production) — Funny Games (Austria, 1997) : The former being a shot-for-shot remake in English by the same director (Michael Haeneke).
- Gaslight (1944) — Gaslight (UK, 1940)
- Gigi (1958) — Gigi (France, 1949)
- Godzilla (1998) — Godzilla (1954) (Japan, 1954)
- Godzilla (2014) (2014) — Godzilla (1954) (Japan, 1954)
- The Grudge (2004, US-Japanese co-production) — Ju-on (Japan, 2000)
- Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) — Hachiko Monogatari (Japan, 1987)
- Head Above Water (1996) — Hodet Over Vannet (Norway/Sweden, 1993)
- Insomnia (2002) — Insomnia (Norway, 1997)
- The Invisible (2007) — The Invisible/Den Osynlige (Sweden, 2002)
- Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) — Un Indien dans la ville (Indian in the City) (France, 1994) - Siskel & Ebert put both on their "worst of the year" lists in back-to-back years.
- Just Visiting (2001) — Les Visiteurs (France, 1993) : Distinct in that the writer and the stars of the originals reprised their roles in the remake. More of an anglophone sequel with the elements of a remake, really.
- K-Pax (2001, US-German co-production) — Man Facing Southeast (Argentina, 1986) : Though K-PAX is originally based on a novella.
- The Lake House (2006) — Siworae, aka Il Mare (South Korea, 2002)
- The Ladykillers (2004) — The Ladykillers (UK, 1955)
- Last Kiss (2006) — L'ultimo bacio (Italy, 2001)
- Let Me In (2010, US-British co-production) — Let the Right One In (Sweden, 2008)
- M (1951) — M (Germany, 1931)
- The Magnificent Seven (1960) — Seven Samurai (Japan, 1954). This became a trope.
- The Man With One Red Shoe (1985) — The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (France, 1972)
- My Sassy Girl (2008) — My Sassy Girl (South Korea, 2001) - This film also received a Bollywood remake and a Tollywood remake.
- The Next Three Days (2010) — Pour Elle/Anything for Her (France, 2008)
- Nightwatch (1997) — Nattevagten (Sweden, 1994). Remade by its original director Ole Bornedal for the American market.
- No Reservations (2007, co-production with Australia) — Mostly Martha (Austria/Germany, 2001)
- Oldboy (2013) — Oldboy (2003)
- One Missed Call (2008, US-Japan co-production) — Chakushin Ari (Japan, 2003 + a TV series sequel, 2005)
- Paris, When It Sizzles (1964) — Holiday for Henrietta (France, 1952). Also remade as Alex and Emma (2003).
- Pathfinder (2007) — Pathfinder (Norway, 1987), probably better known by its Norwegian name (Veiviseren) or Sami name (Ofelaš)
- It has never been officially confirmed, but the 2004 Scarlett Johansson flick The Perfect Score is very probably an unofficial Americanised remake of the obscure 1997 Irish movie How to Cheat in the Leaving Certificate.
- Point of No Return — La Femme Nikita (France, 1990), both by Luc Besson
- Point of No Return (US, 1993)
- Hei Mao (Black Cat) (Hongkong, 1991)
- La Femme Nikita (US first-run title)/Nikita (syndication/international title) (1997, American TV series)
- Nikita (2010, American TV series)
- Pulse — Kairo
- Pure Luck (1991) — La chèvre (France, 1981)
- Quarantine (2008) — Rec (Spain, 2007)
- The Ring (2002) — Ringu (Japan, 1998) - The sequel of The Ring was directed by the director of the original and its sequel.
- Scent of a Woman (1992) — Profumo di donna (Italy, 1974)
- Shall We Dance (2004) — Shall We Dance (Japan, 1996)
- Shutter (2008) — Shutter (Thailand, 2004) : Notably, it pretends that it's a J-horror remake, when the original is Thai.
- Sleeping With The Enemy (1991) — Yaraana (India (Bollywood, specifically), 1995)
- Some Like It Hot (1959) — Fanfaren der Liebe (West Germany, 1951)
- Sorcerer (1977) — The Wages of Fear (France/Italy, 1953)
- Taxi (2004) — Taxi (France, 1998)
- Hollywood of course had to export their remake around the world. Wherever the original Taxi had been released before, the remake was renamed something like New York Taxi.
- The Thirteenth Letter (1950) — Le Corbeau: The Raven (France, 1943)
- Three Fugitives (1989) — Les fugitifs (France, 1986)
- Three Men and a Baby (1987) — Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle) (France, 1985)
- True Lies (1994) — La Totale (France, 1991)
- Twelve Monkeys (1995) — La Jetée (France, 1962) : A borderline example, since the original was a short film made up of mostly still images, and the "remake" was a fully fleshed out story. Also, Gilliam's movie is more of an Inspired By / Spiritual Successor of the original.
- Vanilla Sky (2001) — Abre los Ojos (Spain/France, 1997)
- The Vanishing (1993) — Spoorloos/The Vanishing (1988) : Both the original and the remake had the same director.
- Welcome to Collinwood (2002) — I soliti ignoti (Italy, 1958)
- White Dwarfnote (1995 Made for TV) — Red Beard (Japan, 1965)
- The Woman In Red (1984) — Un éléphant ça trompe énormément/Pardon Mon Affaire (France, 1976). The Trope Maker, in fact.
Non-American Foreign Film Remakes
- Aatishbaaz, Agneepath, and Saathi — Scarface (1983)
- The Anthropophagus Beast (Italian) — Anthropophagous 2000 (German).
- Bachke Rehna Re Baba — Heartbreakers
- Bells Are Ringing was remade for German television as Hallo - Mr. Moss.
- A Better Tomorrow (Hong Kong, 1986) — A Better Tomorrow (South Korea, 2010)
- The Hindi Bhool Bhulaiyaa, a remake of the Tamil and Telugu Chandramukhi, which was a remake of the Kannada Apthamitra...which was a remake of the Malayalee Manichitratazadu. Apparently, there's another remake in Bengali called ''Rajmohol". And yes, all of those are from the same country.
- Chloe — Nathalie
- Daraar, Agnisakshi and Yaraana — Sleeping With The Enemy
- Italian È già ieri (It's Already Yesterday) — Groundhog Day
- Ek Ajnabee — Man on Fire
- Ek The Power Of One (Hindi), a remake of the Telugu assassin flick Athadu.
- A Fistful of Dollars (Italy/Spain, 1964) — Yojimbo (Japan, 1961). The story was plagiarized and Kurosawa had to sue for royalties.
- Ghulam — On the Waterfront
- Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom/The Good, the Bad, the Weird — Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
- Taken Serial Escalation by High School Musical—the book Battle of the Bands was adapted three times in Latin America—once each in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. The latter two count as this.
- Home Run (Singapore) — Children of Heaven (Iran)
- If.... (technically an American production, but with a largely British cast, crew and setting), based on the French short film Zéro de conduite.
- Jindabyne (Australian) — Short Cuts (American), though more accurately they're both adaptations of the short story So Much Water So Close to Home.
- Mean Machine — The Longest Yard: A British remake of the 1973 American film (the Sandler remake came out in 05), substituting football for football.
- O stragalistis tis sygrou is apparently a Greek remake of Maniac.
- Danish Olsen-banden remade in Norway as Olsen-banden and in Sweden as Jönssonligan.
- Norwegian film The Bus from 1961 was remade for a Danish audience in 1963, essentially using the same script, but bowdlerized it to smooth out some plot points and tie up some loose threads.
- Pusher, the influential Danish crime thriller, was remade in Britain in 2012 under the same name. The actor playing the Serbian villain Milo reprises his role, as he is a Ruthless Foreign Gangster in both settings.
- Rafoo Chakkar — Some Like It Hot — Fanfaren der liebe — Fanfares d'Amour... making this a foreign remake of a foreign remake of a foreign remake.
- Saathiya (Hindi) — "Alaipayuthey'' (Tamil). Even the musical numbers were the same.
- Saidoweizu (2009) — Sideways (2004): A Japanese remake, with the wine-country locale changed from Santa Barbara to Napa.
- Sauda and Judaai — Indecent Proposal
- Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming (UK, 2013) — Silent Night, Bloody Night (US, 1974)
- A Simple Noodle Story — Blood Simple
- Sunday (Hindi) — Anukokunda Oka Roju (Telugu)
- Tees Maar Khan - After The Fox
- Wo Zhi Nü Ren Xin — What Women Want
- Witness was remade as Paap (Sin) in Bollywood and as Wild Chase (starring Chow Yun-fat) in Hong Kong.
- Zinda — Oldboy
- 24 (USA) — 24 (India). Indian actor/producer Anil Kapoor joined the cast of the original in Season 8 and thought it would work well in his home country, so he developed an adaptation and will also play the lead role.
- Being Human, a British comedy/drama/horror TV show has now been remade and is airing on SyFy
- Breaking Bad (USA) — Metátastis, set in Columbia.
- Broadchurch (UK) — Gracepoint (USA); bonus points for David Tennant playing the lead role in both shows.
- Desperate Housewives received several Latin American remakes.
- Everybody Loves Raymond has been remade in Russia as Voroniny.
- George and Mildred — The Ropers
- The Disney Channel sitcom Good Luck Charlie has been remade into Best of Luck Nikki by Disney Channel India. Basically, it's just a Cultural Translation of the original, with not much difference form the original plots.
- Gossip Girl (USA) — Although China was the first to announce its version, Mexico was quicker out of the box.
- Grounded For Life (USA) — Remade in the UK In With The Flynns
- Law & Order has British and (coming in 2012) South African remakes, Law & Order: Criminal Intent has remakes in France and Russia, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has a Russian remake.
- Life on Mars (UK) — Life on Mars (US) — La Chica de Ayer (Spain) — The Dark Side of the Moon (Russia)
- Los Simuladores (Argentina) — Remade in Mexico, Spain, Chile and Russia.
- Man About The House — Three's Company
- Among all of the remakes of Married... with Children, the Russian one is notable because not only the entire show was remade (except for some of the less good episodes and some that couldn't be remade for various reasons) , but the show now continues with completely new episodes, some of which are co-written by writers from the original show's staff.
- The Nanny has been remade a lot
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 — Project Popcorn note
- The O.C. is currently being remade in Turkey, called Medcezir.
- The Office (GB) — The Office (USA), Stromberg (Germany) and Kontoret (Sweden)
- Overspel (Adultery) (Holland) was remade as Betrayal (USA). According to an LA Times article about how shows pick titles (whether they're short ones like Scandal or quirky ones like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), execs went with "Betrayal" over "Adultery" due to fears that female viewers would get turned-off by the latter while the former sounds more enticing, and plot-wise there's many ways to betray someone besides adultery).
- Prison Break has been remade in Russia and is currently showing.
- Riget (Denmark) was remade in the USA as Kingdom Hospital.
- Robin's Nest — Three's A Crowd
- Skins - and the short-lived American remake of the same name.
- So You Think You Can Dance has spun into several countries such as Canada,Australia,Germany,the UK,Israel...
- Spitting Image had at least Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian follow-ups. It helps politicians are laughable everywhere. There was also an attempt to bring it to the US during the Reagan years. Several specials were aired, but the show never caught on.
- Steptoe and Son — Sanford and Son
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody — The Suite Life of Karan and Kabir
- That '70s Show — Days Like These (UK)
- Till Death Do Us Part (GB) — All in the Family (USA) and Ein Herz und eine Seele (Germany).
- The Tomorrow People (UK, 1970s/1990s) — The Tomorrow People (US, 2013)
- Top Gear (UK) begat Top Gear Australia, Top Gear Russia, Top Gear US, and Top Gear Korea.
- Who's the Boss? received several foreign remakes.
- Yo soy Betty, la fea has migrated up many South American countries and to Israel, all the way to the US (Ugly Betty). Later, it even got to Russia and the rest of the CIS, where fans are convinced that it is a re-make of an original ''American'' show. Ugly Betty is the inspiration for a Bosnian variant, and possibly an Arabic version as well. There was also a quite successful German adaptation. A Czech version Ugly Katka also exists.
- Swedes are quite happy to remake both British and American shows now and then, despite the fact that subtitles are the norm and American and British shows popular. Examples include:
- The Power Rangers franchise (American-produced, but filmed in New Zealand since Power Rangers Ninja Storm) is officially viewed as a "remake" of the Japanese Super Sentai franchise. Each Power Rangers season imports the action footage from a corresponding Super Sentai series (since the heroes' identities are concealed in their full body suits) and films new scenes around them featuring English-speaking actors. This began a minor trend of "remaking" Japanese tokusatsu shows for American audiences using the same method.
- Most Korean dramas will get a Filipino remake if the original was so popular there. Examples include My Girl, Only You, Green Rose and recently, Temptation of Wife.
- Name any popular Telenovela, and there surely will have a couple of foreign remakes at least. The most famous one is El Derecho De Nacer, born in Cuba and remade for radio and TV twice by decade since The Fifties. Mexico, being the Hollywood of Soap Operas, makes regionalized remakes of every Colombian and Argentinian popular soap since the Nineties.
- How I Met Your Mother has a Russian adaptation. Its version of Robin has Let’s Go to the Mall as her ringtone.
- The Israeli sitcom Traffic Light was adapted unsuccessfully in the US and successfully in Russia.
- The Nickelodeon LatAm Teen Drama Grachi gets one for the US: Every Witch Way, also by Nickelodeon.
Other Media Remakes
- The Captain Future series of novels were adapted into a tokusatsu series in Japan titled Captain Ultra, which was unrelated to Tsuburaya's Ultra Series despite the name, although it was treated by the network as such since it was picked up as a filler series between the finale of Ultraman and the premiere of Ultra Seven.
- Elite Beat Agents is an American remake of the Japanese game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan.
- The NES game Flying Warriors by Culture Brain is a remake of the Famicom game Hiryu no Ken 2 developed on the Hiryu no Ken 3 engine, rather than just being a straight localization of either game (in contrast to its predecessor Flying Dragon, which was just an English version of the original Hiryu no Ken).
- In Nomine is an American remake of French tabletop roleplaying game In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas.
- There was recently an American comic-book remake of the Japanese Visual Novel Saya no Uta. And, unlike in the original, they actually decide to show her true form.
- As a kind of homage to this trope, the very-Japanese-style-horror PS2 game Siren was remade as Siren Blood Curse on PS3, along with all the changes that normally get applied to Hollywood remakes of Japanese horror (though the original Siren and its sequel did both get English releases first time round). While Siren Blood Curse is still set in a Japanese village, the all-Japanese cast of the original has been replaced with an American TV crew sent in to do a documentary about the legends surrounding the area.
- Marvel's Spider-Man got his own tokusatsu series in Japan courtesy of Toei.
- Hayao Miyazaki's Manga title A Trip To Tynemouth is his version of British author Robert Westall's short story collection Break of Dark.
- "The Wizard of the Emerald City" is a loose Russian translation of The Wizard of Oz. After the first novel the book series follows its own direction.
- In the early 20th century, many musical shows from London, Vienna and Berlin were imported to New York with the scores largely or completely replaced. In the case of Blossom Time, the American version of Das Dreimäderlhaus, the score was newly adapted from the same source (Franz Schubert).
- Everybody Loves Raymond was adapted to the Israeli sitcom You Can’t Choose Your Family that lasted for one season, fairing very poorly and ending when the actress who played Rosa (Israeli Marie), Rozina Cambos, died of cancer.
- At the height of the popularity of the 1960s Batman TV show, a licensed Batman manga was published in Japan. Some stories were loosely based on DC characters, but the plots, art, and dialogue were largely new.
Not Quite Remakes
- Black Swan is not exactly a remake of Perfect Blue, though it's almost the same plot—but with the setting changed from idol singing to ballet. It is so similar, however, that the director actually did license Perfect Blue in order to include a scene taken from the anime.
- A persistent rumor is that Aaron Spelling tried to license Degrassi Junior High but created Beverly Hills 90210 after he was rebuffed by the Canadian show's producers.
- In the early years of talking pictures, a number of movies were filmed simultaneously in different languages, using the same sets but mostly different casts and crews. Perhaps the most famous is the Spanish version of Dracula, whose direction by George Melford is widely reckoned to be superior to Tom Browning's direction of the English version.
- Another good example is the 1932 German film F. P. 1 antwortet nicht starring Hans Albers and Peter Lorre, which was simultaneously produced in English (as Flying Platform 1 Doesn't Answer) with Conrad Veidt and in French with Charles Boyer.
- Comic example: DC Comics has made several attempts to launch a Judge Dredd comic in America, but none of them lasted very long.
- An inverted Pinball example: Chicago-based Stern Pinball's Striker Xtreme (a soccer-based game) was re-released a year later as NFL for an American Football audience.
- Sid and Marty Kroft's DC Follies may have been based on the British series, Spitting Image.
- Belarus had a sitcom titled The Theorists which was their version of The Big Bang Theory. It was also completely unauthorized. CBS had begun legal proceedings when the cast of The Theorists discovered their show was a rip-off and quit en masse, forcing its cancellation.