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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 become a Adaptation Distillation or Adaptation Decay depending on the minds at work.

OR:

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.

Common Tropes:

Compare Disneyfication. See also Trans Atlantic 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.

Films: Listed with American release name and Original name (plus years and country of origin for the original ones) :

  • The Birdcage (1996) -- La Cage Aux Folles (1978)
  • The Departed (2006) -- Infernal Affairs (Hongkong, 2002)
  • Criminal (2004) -- Nueve Reinas (Argentina, 2000)
  • The Debt (2011) -- The Debt (Israel, 2007)
  • Father's Day (1997) -- Les Compères (France, 1983)
  • 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)
  • The Eye (2008) -- Gin Gwai (Malaysia, 2002)
  • Godzilla (1998) -- Godzilla (Japan, 1954)
  • The Grudge (2004, US-Japanese co-production) -- Juon (Japan, 2000)
  • Pulse -- Kairo
  • Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) -- Un Indien dans la ville (Indian in the City) (France, 1994)
  • Insomnia (2002) -- Insomnia (Norway, 1997)
  • The Invisible (2007) -- The Invisible/Den Osynlige (Sweden, 2002)
  • Quarantine (2008) -- [[[REC]]] (Spain, 2007)
  • The Ring (2002) -- Ring (Japan, 1998)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959) -- Fanfaren der liebe (West Germany, 1951)
  • Sorcerer (1977) -- The Wages of Fear (France/Italy, 1953)
  • True Lies (1994) -- La Totale (France, 1991)
  • Vanilla Sky (2001) -- Abre los Ojos (Spain/France, 1997)
  • Three Men and a Baby (1987) -- Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle) (France, 1985)
  • No Reservations (2007, co-production with Australia)-- Mostly Martha (Austria/Germany, 2001)
  • 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.
  • One Missed Call (2008, US-Japan co-production) -- Chakushin Ari (Japan, 2003 + a TV series sequel, 2005)
  • Shall We Dance (2004) -- Shall We Dance (Japan, 1996)
  • Algiers (1938) -- Pepe Le Moko (France, 1937)
  • Head Above Water (1996) -- Hodet Over Vannet (Norway/Sweden, 1993)
  • Scent of a Woman (1992) -- Profumo di donna (Italy, 1974)
  • Last Kiss (2006) -- L'ultimo bacio (Italy, 2001)
  • Big (1988) -- Da grande (Italy, 1987)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960) -- Seven Samurai (Japan, 1954). This became a trope.
  • White Dwarf[1] (1995 Made for TV) -- Red Beard (Japan, 1965)
  • Bangkok Dangerous -- Bangkok Dangerous, both directed by the Pang Brothers
  • 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).
  • Astro Boy (2009)
  • Shutter (2008) -- Shutter (Thailand, 2004) : Notably, it pretends that it's a J-horror remake, when the original is Thai.
  • Let Me In (2010, US-British co-production) -- Let the Right One In (Sweden, 2008)
  • K-Pax (2001, US-German co-production) -- Man Facing Southeast (Argentina, 1986) : Though K-PAX is originally based on a novella.
  • City of Angels (1998) -- Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (West Germany, 1987)
  • Brothers (2009) -- Brøders (Denmark, 2004)
  • 12 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 a Inspired By Spiritual Successor of the original.
  • M (1951) -- M (Germany, 1931)
  • Death at a Funeral (2010) -- Death at a Funeral (UK, 2007)
  • Three Fugitives (1989) -- Les fugitifs (France, 1986)
  • Pure Luck (1991) -- La chèvre (France, 1981)
  • Welcome to Collinwood (2002) -- I soliti ignoti (Italy, 1958)
  • Dinner for Schmucks -- Le dîner de cons, Dinner for Idiots/The Dinner Game (France, 1998)
  • The Next Three Days (2010) -- Pour Elle/Anything for Her (France, 2008)
  • The Lady Killers (2004) -- The Lady Killers (UK, 1955)
  • My Sassy Girl (2008) -- My Sassy Girl (South Korea, 2001)
  • 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.
  • Gaslight (1944) -- Gaslight (UK, 1940)
  • The Man With One Red Shoe -- The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (France, 1972)
  • The Vanishing (1993) -- Spoorloos/The Vanishing (1988) : Both the original and the remake had the same director.
  • The Lake House (2006) -- Siworae, aka Il Mare (South Korea, 2002)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) -- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sweden, 2009)
  • Pathfinder (2007) -- Pathfinder (Norway, 1987), probably better known by its Norwegian name (Veiviseren) or Sami name (Ofelaš)
  • The Thirteenth Letter (1950) -- Le Corbeau: The Raven (France, 1943)
  • Gigi (1958) -- Gigi (France, 1949)
  • Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) -- Yaraana (India (Bollywood, specifically), 1995)
  • Nightwatch (1997) -- Nattevagten (1994). Remade by its original director Ole Bornedal for the American market.

Non-American Foreign Film Remakes:

  • Mean Machine -- The Longest Yard: A British remake of the 1973 American film (the Sandler remake came out in 05), substituting soccer for football.
  • A Fistful of Dollars (Italy/Spain, 1964) -- Yojimbo (Japan, 1961). The story was plagiarized and Kurosawa had to sue for royalties.
  • Danish Olsen-Banden remade in Norway as Olsenbanden and in Sweden as Jönssonligan.
  • Zinda -- Oldboy
  • Bachke Rehna Re Baba -- Heartbreakers
  • Ghulam -- On the Waterfront
  • Ek Ajnabee -- Man On Fire
  • Aatishbaaz, Agneepath, and Saathi -- Scarface
  • Daraar, Agnisakshi and Yaraana -- Sleeping with the Enemy
  • Sauda and Judaai -- Indecent Proposal
  • Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom/The Good, the Bad, the Weird -- Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
  • Ghajini/Memento
  • If.... (technically an American production, but with a largely British cast, crew and setting), based on the French short film Zéro de conduite.
  • A Simple Noodle Story -- Blood Simple
  • Chloe -- Nathalie
  • Home Run (Singapore) -- Children of Heaven (Iran)
  • Taken Serial Escalation by High School Musical--the book Battle of the Bands was adapted three times in Latin America--once in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. The latter two count as this.
  • 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.
    • What's interesting is that in each of these movies, the "ghost" character spoke a different language than the other characters. And almost every time, she ends up speaking the language of the next remake. In the Malayalee version, she was a Tamil; in the Tamil and Kannada versions, she was Telugu; in the Telugu version, which kinda breaks the chain, she was Tamil again.
    • This sort of thing is a common practice in India -- since each region has its own official language spoken by most of the population, a film that is especially popular in one part of India will get remade in different languages for other regions. Many other examples on this list also fit.
  • Sunday (Hindi) -- Anukokunda Oka Roju (Telugu)
  • Saathiya (Hindi) -- "Alaipayuthey (Tamil). Even the musical numbers were the same.
  • Ek The Power Of One (Hindi), a remake of the Telugu assassin flick Athadu.
  • 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.
  • The British film studio Hammer Film Productions made its name by remaking many of Universal Pictures' classic horror films from the '30s and '40s.
  • Tees Maar Khan - After The Fox
  • Witness was remade as Paap (Sin) in Bollywood and as Wild Chase (starring Chow Yun Fat) in Hong Kong.
  • What Women Want -- Wo Zhi Nü Ren Xin
  • Groundhog Day was remade in Italy as È già ieri (It's Already Yesterday).
  • O stragalistis tis sygrou is apparently a Greek remake of Maniac.
  • The Anthropophagus Beast (Italian) -- Anthropophagous 2000 (German).
  • Jindabyne (Australian) -- Short Cuts (American), though more accurately they're both adaptations of the short story So Much Water So Close to Home.

TV Shows


Other Media Remakes

  • As a kind of homage to this trope, the very-Japanese-style-horror Play Station 2 game Siren was remade as Siren Blood Curse on PlayStation 3, 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.
  • 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.
  • In Nomine was 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.
  • "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.
  • Elite Beat Agents is an American remake of the Japanese game Osu Tatakae Ouendan.
  • 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.

Not Quite Remakes

  • 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.
  • Comic example: DC Comics has made several attempts to launch a Judge Dredd comic in America, but none of them lasted very long.
  • 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.

Notes

  1. not to be confused with the derisive Fan Nickname for the Foreign Remake of Red Dwarf
  2. The Russians have already launched their own comedian into space!
  3. with footage from the movies Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J used for certain episodes
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