Action fans everywhere know the name of Banlieue 13. Or at least they know they know it by its American name, District B13 (the "B" stands for "banlieue" and "banlieue" roughly stands for "district," so try not to think about it too hard). The film, produced by Luc Besson and directed by Pierre Morel (who went on to direct the even more excellent Taken), was an adrenaline rush of action-packed excitement that helped popularize freerunning, aka "parkour." It even co-starred David Belle, the man credited with creating parkour in the first place. Predictably, it got a somewhat less impressive sequel, District 13: Ultimatum. Even more predictably, it's getting an American remake, called…
Wait for it…
Anyway, the remake, which is again being produced by Luc Besson, will move the action from France to America (duh), probably to Chicago. (Huh.) And instead of taking place in "District 13," the events now revolve around a very similar place called "Brick Mansions." (Uh…)
The good news? David Belle will be reprising his role from the original. (Yay!) The less good news? His co-star, Cyril Raffaelli, who went on to steal the show as the fleet-footed villain in Live Free or Die Hard, will isn't coming back. In his stead it looks like we're getting Paul Walker, a charming enough dude but not exactly a martial arts or parkour powerhouse.
The plot, as in the original, tells the story of a cop (Walker) who goes undercover in an isolated ghetto where a nuclear weapon has been stolen. He strikes an uneasy alliance with a local troublemaker (Belle), the one resident of… Sigh… Brick Mansions who doesn't take any of the criminal mastermind's crap. Unmentioned in the announcement at Deadline is the subplot in which Belle's sister has been kidnapped by that same bad guy, but we'll be surprised if it doesn't make the cut.
Besson himself is writing the script for the Americanized remake, which according to Deadline will be directed by "another protege" of the French action icon, but so far they haven't announced whom.
Haven't seen District B13? Well, you haven't seen anything yet.
CraveOnline will be back with more… Sigh… Brick Mansions news after they change the silly name. Please?