Adding a new riff to an old movie, RKO Pictures said Thursday that it is planning a Latin-themed remake of the 1947 George Raft thriller “Nocturne,” which will be set against the backdrop of Miami’s recording biz.
The project is the latest addition to an ambitious slate from RKO, which also includes the previously reported John Sayles/Martin Scorsese team-up “Bedlam,” Nicolas Roeg’s “The Locked Room” and Robert Altman’s “Mata Hari.”
RKO is expected to have several major announcements in the next few weeks, as it prepares a nine-picture slate for next month’s Cannes Film Festival. RKO will be seeking distribution arrangements in key territories and co-production partners at the fest.
For “Nocturne,” RKO has tapped screenwriter Reuben Gonzalez to revamp the 47 -year-old project, about a detective’s investigation into the death of a composer. Just back from a scouting trip to South Florida, Gonzalez said his version of the “Nocturne” script will feature “Latin music, crossover music, the fashion, social and dance scenes” of Miami.
The directing assignment goes to Felix Enriquez Alcala, whose previous credits include episodes of “NYPD Blue,””Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,””The Byrds of Paradise” and “Homefront.”
RKO chairman and chief executive Ted Hartley, who will executive produce “Nocturne,” said Alcala “deserves a shot on an important feature. I believe he will surprise everyone with this great film story.” Hartley added that “Latin and Hispanic-themed films and Latino talent have come forward to take a role at the leading edge of our industry.” Co-producers of “Nocturne” will be James Brooke and Miami-based Venture Prods.
RKO executive vice president Mitch Blumberg said the original production and the remake share similarities. He noted that the original was unusual studio fare for its time because it used actual locations such as Rodeo Drive, Wilshire Boulevard and local restaurant scenes to capture “a real city environment and feeling.”
“The music, the food, the architecture, the clothes, the cars, the street scenes all evoke the essence of the story in the original,” said Blumberg. “That’s the same sensibility that Alcala and Gonzalez will be bringing to the story when they put it in Miami.”
Remakes are a key strategy in the bid by current management to re-establish 66-year-old RKO as a production force.