- Cast: James Marsden, Alexander Skarsgård, Kate Bosworth, James Woods, Dominic Purcell, Willa Holland, Walton Goggins, Laz Alonso, Billy Lush, Anson Mount, Rhys Coiro, Grant Case, Drew Powell, Kristen Shaw, Courtney Shay Young, Randall Newsome, Parker Dash, Michael Byrnes, Rick LaCour, Tim J. Smith, Kurt Deville, Kelly Holleman, Megan Adelle, Kip Cummings
- Director: Rod Lurie
- Writer: Rod Lurie
- Producers: Marc Frydman, Rod Lurie
- Associate Producer: George Flynn
- Executive Producers: Beau Marks, Gilbert Dumontet
- Art Direction: John P. Goldsmith
- Castings: Sharon Bialy, Sherry Thomas
- Costume Design: Lynn Falconer
- D.O.P.: Alik Sakharov
- Editor: Sarah Boyd
- Makeup: Rose Librizzi
- Music: Larry Groupé
- Production Design: Tony Fanning
- Set Decoration: Kristin Bicksler
The new "Straw Dogs" follows Los Angeles screenwriter David Sumner (Marsden), who moves with his wife (Bosworth) to her hometown in the deep South. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, leading to a violent confrontation.
The original, co-written and directed by Sam Peckinpah, saw Dustin Hoffman in the role of Sumner, with the story set in rural England. Both films are based on the book "The Siege at Trencher's Farm" by Gordon Williams.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Louisiana, USA
- MPAA Warning: Strong brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, and pervasive language
- Production Budget: $12.5 million
- Production Companies: Battleplan Productions
- Production Schedule: 17 August 2009 - December 2009
2011 Guide Analysis: "Perhaps the most infamous film of maverick filmmaker Sam Peckinpah, certainly one of his best, the original 1971 "Straw Dogs" attracted much controversy upon its release for its violence and debasement of women - and this was in the same year that the likes of "A Clockwork Orange," "Dirty Harry" and "The French Connection" all came out.
Most of the controversy surrounded a prolonged double rape scene that marks the centerpiece of the film. The scene's ambiguity, in which the female lead character resists and then briefly appears to enjoy the first rape, led to edits being made - most notably the second and far less unambiguous sexual assault. Even with the cuts, the British Board of Film Classification banned the film in 1984 and didn't lift said ban until 2002 citing that the "pre-cut version eroticised the rape" while the uncut version with the second rape included gives better context to the first.
It wasn't just the rape that sparked the ire of many though. Most of the remaining venom targeted the film's bleak ending, which posits extreme vigilante violence as a source of character redemption. Peckinpah labelled Dustin Hoffman's meek lead character as the film's true villain who subconsciously provokes the violence, making his murderous rampage a display of his true nature.
Here, "The Contender" and "Commander in Chief" creator Rod Lurie tackles the tale which he's calling a remake of the Peckinpah film rather than a direct new adaptation of Gordon Williams' novel "The Siege of Trencher's Farm" upon which the earlier film is based. Lurie performed re-writes of Peckinpah and David Zelag Goodman's script for the original, notably shifting the location from south-west England to somewhere in the deep South in the United States. The David Sumner character has also been changed from a meek everyday mathematician to a good looking Los Angeles screenwriter.
Otherwise much of what's coming out sounds very similar to the original. "True Blood" hunk Alexander Skarsgård will be the former lover turned initial rapist with Rhys Coiro as the secondary one, while "Prison Break" star Dominic Purcell is in the David Warner role this time out. Many expect Lurie to tone down the violence but he claims he hasn't - his aim is to be more intense than the original and to certainly deliver a "hard R" rated feature that he hopes will shock.
However there's no guarantee this will work. Recently there's been two other remakes of often banned 70's movies - "The Last House on the Left" and "I Spit on Your Grave". 'Left' did modest business, 'Grave' utterly tanked. Neither is talked about much in horror circles even just a year or two on from release. This film scored a delay of seven months from its original release last month, something which itself has raised questions about the final product. We'll see for ourselves in September."