Hollywood has always turned to European, Asian and other foreign filmmaking industries. Seeking new ideas and inspiration in foreign films, they later tend to turn into highly-successful, world-wide renowned productions, packed with famous names, smashing visual and special effects and awards expectations. Here’s a list of five foreign films, which have inspired Hollywood remakes.


5. Insomnia (1997) | Insomnia (2002)

Inspired by the 1997 Norwegian film of the same title, Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia reveals his distinctive self-reflexive style of filmmaking, seen in the director’s later films like The Prestige and even the Batman trilogy. Insomnia tells the story of a police detective, who accidentally shoots his partner, while chasing a murder suspect. Nolan’s version of the film follows a similar plot, with some alterations and with Al Pacino in the title role, instead of Stellan Skarsgård.



4. Ring (1998) | The Ring (2002)

Gore Verbinski’s 2002 incredibly successful horror film, starring Naomi Watts, is based on the equally successful Japanese Ring, directed by Hideo Nakata. Although only four years apart, the two films put a spin on the horror film as we know it. Inspired by the novel by Koji Suzuki, the story revolves around a cursed video tape. After watching the tape, the viewers die in only seven days.



3. Let the Right One In (2008) | Let Me In (2010)

Based on a novel of the same title by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the film won international acclaim. Directed by Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), this film was remade into Let Me In in 2010 and directed by Matt Reeves. Both films tell the story of a child vampire and a boy, making friends. Although with similar plots, the two films differ in the atmosphere they create for their audiences: Alfredson’s film strikes as much more unsettling.



2. Open Your Eyes (1997) | Vanilla Sky (2001)

Written by the director himself, Alejandro Amenbar’s film tells the story of a man, whose face is disfigured and needs to be surgically reconstructed. Remade by Cameron Crowe, Vanilla Sky film received ambiguous reviews. Nevertheless, it seems to be quite a popular film because of its lead stars Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, who plays the same character, Sofia, as in the original film.



1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) | The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Based on the massively popular Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, the remake was very much talked about in Hollywood most popular and talented actresses auditioned for the part of Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace in the original. Finally, Rooney Mara snatched it. The success and media attention to both films didn’t favour one version of the film over the other: the films remain two different visions of the same story. 



About The Author

My main interests include film/contemporary art/visual culture, which is on what I mainly concentrate when writing and in my spare time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.