The only element that really screams 1985 about William Friedkin’s underrated noir classic To Live and Die in LA is its soundtrack, heavily dosed with the melodic pop of Wang Chung. Everything else, from the strong performances from then-ingenues Willem Defoe, John Turturro, and William Peterson to the harrowing car chases which take you racing from the Los Angeles River to the wrong way on the Freeway, is timeless and more real-feeling than most of today’s Hollywood blocking magic pictures. Which is why a remake of To Live and Die in LA for TV, with Friedkin attached to direct could be interesting – if they keep it dirty and real.
According to DarkHorizions.com, Friedkin will adapt 1985’s To Live and Die in LA for WGN America. Friedkin will direct the pilot and executive produce the series with input given from Crash co-writer Robert Moresco. Moresco will script the series and also act as an executive producer on the TV series To Live and Die in LA.
Perhaps remakes of less familiar movies are less exhausting to consider, but maybe the low-key production values of To Live and Die in LA make envisioning a remake more palatable – don’t gussy it up like the Footloose remake, please. Friedkin’s film adaptation of Gerald Petievich’s novel is raunchy, violent, and shocking. The cinematography by Robby Müller helps every frame look like a painting, even if it is of gore, or a smashed-up windshield. Friedkin handles Petievich’s material deftly. The good guys don’t win, and there may not be any good guys. To Live and Die in LA tells the story of a bad-ass counterfeiter and the secret service agents on his tail – one a rogue, his partner by-the-book and bumbling. Here’s hoping for a new timeless noir take on the story a la True Detective.
William Friedkin is set to turn his own 1985 feature thriller “To Live and Die in L.A.” into a dramatic TV series for “Manhattan” and “Salem” broadcaster WGN America.
William Peterson, Willem Dafoe, and John Pankow starred in the original film which followed two Secret Service agents on the trail of a counterfeiting operation in Los Angeles. It was based on the novel of the same name by former Secret Service officer Gerald Petievich.
Friedkin is tipped to direct the pilot and executive produce the series based upon ideas he hatched with “Crash” co-writer Robert Moresco. Moresco will script the series and also act as an executive producer.
If the first batch of scripts are well received by WGN and producers MGM Television and Tribute Studios, the show could go straight to series. No casting has been announced for the show.