A contemporary re-imagining of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 cult hit “Bad Lieutenant” is in the works it seems says The Los Angeles Times.
Billy Finkelstein (TV’s “Murder One,” “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue”) has been hired to pen “Bad Lieutenant ’08”, a feature described as “less a sequel or a prequel than an attempt to take the raw material of the original film and weave it into 21st century, post- 9/11 New York.”
The original NC-17 rated crime drama had Harvey Keitel playing a nameless, self-destructive New York City cop into drugs, gambling, theft, debasing women, and hookers. While investigating a nun’s rape, he begins to reflect on his lifestyle and tries to change his ways.
In the new version the tortured Lieutenant has scored a name – Terence McDonough – and gets backstory showing off how he got promoted to his position, his drug addiction, and of course all the requisite violence, drug use and sex from the original. The main case he’s investigating this time is the drug-related murder of five Senegalese illegal immigrants.
Finkelstein, currently finishing up a second draft, says “We have to factor in the passage of time and what’s happened in the interim. I don’t know that the same sorts of things that caused us to sit up and take notice 15 years ago are necessarily gonna have the same effect now.”
Producer Edward R. Pressman has discussed the new version with Ferrara and Keitel, although neither is attached to the project.