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'Game of Thrones' director to tackle 'Jar City' remake

September 19, 2012|By Steven Zeitchik
  • A scene from "Jar City."
A scene from "Jar City." (IFC Films )

EXCLUSIVE: Hard-core fans of HBO sensation "Game of Thrones" will know the name Brian Kirk -- he directed several key episodes in the first season, including the well-regarded "The Wolf and the Lion." Now he'll get a crack at a different beloved genre piece.

Kirk is coming aboard to direct the American remake of Icelandic crime drama "Jar City," according to a person familiar with the production who was not authorized to speak about it publicly.

Based on an Icelandic bestseller, the 2006 film was an art house and festival-circuit hit. Kirk is now attached to direct the film and negotiations are underway to hammer out the legalities, the person said.

The original “Jar City” was a strongly reviewed crime thriller in which a detective investigates a new murder he believes is linked to an unsolved rape 30 years before. The film has echoes of another cold-case-in-a-cold-place tale, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," of course also an art-house darling that received a big Hollywood redo.

Like many foreign remakes, “Jar City” has followed a twisty path. The project was set up at Overture Films about four years ago, back when the John Malone-owned label was still in existence. But it has some momentum now: The film is being developed by Universal executive-turned-producer David Linde, with original director Baltasar Kormakur on board to produce as well.

The Irish-born Kirk has had some heat himself lately. Though he'd directed only one feature, an indie set in his native country six years ago, he'd been reported last year as a surprise candidate to helm "Thor 2” (a job that eventually went to fellow "GoT" helmer Alan Taylor).

Kirk would bring some chops to "Jar City."  He has also directed episodes of "The Riches" and "Boardwalk Empire" as well as other prestige gritty television. And "Jar City" merits the prestige grit, with the film featuring an ennui-laden cop and serious  atmospherics. Kirk would also follow in the steps of other "GoT" veterans with film chops: The show's directorial ranks include established film vets such as Taylor and Neill Marshall.

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Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

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