More than 10 years later Killer JoeWilliam Friedkin (The Exorcist, Federal Police, Los Angeles, French Connection) is finally preparing a new film, with Kiefer Sutherland.
We can bet that you will be few to click on this article and read it, but it does not matter: it exists for our souls of cinephiles. Because in this world of thick brutes, the return of William Friedkin is a good thingespecially after so many years of absence.
The last time the director came to put everyone in their place, it was in 2011 with the shock Killer Joe, where Matthew McConaughey was a cowboy hitman. Since then, apart from the fascinating documentary on the exorcism The Devil and Father Amorth, the cult filmmaker was silent. Not by choice, but because he hasn’t read any script worthy of the name, which motivated him to return to a film set. Until The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.
The director of Cruising and The Convoy of Fear will therefore return for a modern adaptation of Herman Wouk’s book, which recounts the trial of naval officers accused of mutiny. Last reason to smile: the mad commander will be played by Kiefer Sutherland.
Don’t forget the exciting Bug
Published in 1951 and crowned with the 1952 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the book The Caine Mutiny (Hurricane on the Caine) revolves around Commander Queeg, a man who at first seems extremely demanding and disciplined, but soon proves to be incompetent and unstable. Tension is rising within the crew of Caine, an old First World War destroyer, and reaches a point of no return during a typhoon, where Queeg is relieved of command, forcibly. He then drags his officers to court-martial, where each recounts what happened.
The Caine Mutiny has already been adapted several times, and always with a certain prestige. In 1954, the officer was played by Humphrey Bogart, nominated for the Oscars for the occasion. In the process, the story was adapted into a play, by the writer himself, and with Charles Laughton to stage it on Broadway. In 1988, The Caine Mutiny was also adapted for television by Robert Altman. Around the same time, Charlton Heston took part in an adapted version in China.
William Friedkin explained to Deadline : “This is one of the best court dramas ever written. The original was written for World War II, and Herman Wouk included all of Pearl Harbor’s pent-up anger. I updated it so it’s not Pearl Harbor anymore. It will be contemporary, with the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, which lead to Iran“. Knowing that there has never been a mutiny in the United States Navy, the playing field is particularly interesting.
The filmmaker also explains that Kiefer Sutherland is “one of the best actors in America” : “I saw every episode of 24 hours flat. I thought he was great but he could do even more, and this will be the opportunity for him to go.”. It will be for Kiefer Sutherland a great and beautiful return to the cinema, after a salvo of series (Designated Survivor, The fugitive, The First Lady) and some recent appearances that we sincerely want to forget (Pompeii, The Forbidden Experiment, The Contractor).
Conclusion : The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is already on the list of the most anticipated films of the next few years. Until then, everyone will be able (and should) to redo Friedkin’s filmo.
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After Killer Joe, the demigod William Friedkin prepares his big comeback