Director Jaume Collet-Serra is best known for delivering action thrillers with Liam Neeson that are more than a little unbelievable. Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night and The Commuter all hail from the Spanish filmmaker, but it seems like he’s switching gears in his career a little bit. Coming up, we’ll see what Collet-Serra can do with Disney and Dwayne Johnson in the theme park ride adaptation Jungle Cruise, and soon he’ll be tackling a hybrid sports drama and prison escape remake called Victory at Warner Bros. Pictures.
Back in 1981, John Huston directed the original Victory. The World War II-set film follows Karl von Steiner (Max Von Sydow), the head of a German POW camp and soccer enthusiast as he organizes a game between Nazi players and their captives from the Allied forces in Paris. It’s all in an effort to make the Third Reich look superior to the rest of the world by defeating an impressive team that includes John Colby (Michael Caine), a veteran British player and Luis Fernandez (the famous soccer player Pelé) of Trinidad.
Though the game is the focus of the movie, there’s a bit of an Argo situation happening here, because team trainer Robert Hatch (Sylvester Stallone) tries to plan a mass escape for the entire team at the end of the game. But the players might have to choose between humiliating the Nazis on the soccer field in front of the whole world or escaping with their lives. Or maybe there’s a way they can do both.
Even though an uplifting sports drama doesn’t sound like it’s up Jaume Collet-Serra’s alley, the nature of a group of POWs escaping custody through a soccer game with Nazis sounds unbelievable enough to fit with the rest of his filmography. There’s even room for Liam Neeson to take the Michael Caine or Sylvester Stallone role if he so desired.
This sounds like it has the potential to be a lot of fun, combining aspects of both sports dramas and heist movies. There’s also the opportunity to put together a great ensemble cast here. The original movie also featured a lot of real profession soccer players, but it remains to be seen if that’s what will happen with the remake. Either way, having the Allied forces make fools of some Nazis sounds like exactly what this country needs right now.
The Wrap says Anthony Tambakis is working on a rewrite of the script that he worked on with Gavin O’Connor back in 2017. Gianni Nunnari and Bernie Goldmann are producing the Victory remake, but there’s no indication as to when it might get in front of cameras at Warner Bros.
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