Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi's AMBI Pictures will finance and produce a remake of Christopher Nolan's iconic, twist-laden film Memento. Writer/director Christopher Nolan adapted Memento from a short story by his brother Jonathan Nolan titled "Memento Mori", and the unusual, neo-noir psychological thriller took audiences by storm upon release in 2000 and has since achieved cult hit status with a fervent following. The film was a box office success and received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.
Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano, Memento was lauded for its nonlinear narrative structure and motifs of memory, perception, grief, and self-deception. AMBI took ownership of Memento remake rights when the company acquired the Exclusive Media Group film library, which housed Memento, as well as 400 additional critical hits, commercial blockbusters and cult favorites such as Begin Again, Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko, End of Watch, The Ides of March, Hit and Run, The Mexican, Parkland, Rush, Sliding Doors, Snitch, Undefeated and The Way Back, to name a few.
The EMG library acquisition was followed by the launch of AMBI's new $200 million film fund last week. Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi are anchor investors in the fund along with New York based private equity firm Raven Capital Management LLC ("Raven"). This series of strategic moves led to AMBI greenlighting Memento as its newest feature production. Here's what Andrea Iervolino had to say in a statement about the remake.
"Memento has been consistently ranked as one of the best films of its decade. People who've seen Memento 10 times still feel they need to see it one more time. This is a quality we feel really supports and justifies a remake. The bar is set high thanks to the brilliance of Christopher Nolan, but we wouldn't want it any other way. Our acquisition of the EMG library reinforced our commitment to build a strong global studio with a strong pipeline of commercial films that can play to a worldwide audience. Bringing a new Memento to audiences is an initial example of how we intend to execute this strategy."
Nolan's original Memento follows Leonard (played by Guy Pearce) who is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The difficulty, however, of locating his wife's killer is compounded by the fact that he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss. Although he can recall details of life before his accident, Leonard cannot remember what happened fifteen minutes ago, where he's going, or why... The movie was presented as two different sequences of scenes interspersed during the film: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of color sequences shown in reverse order (simulating in the audience the mental state of the protagonist, who suffers from a anterograde amnesia). The two sequences "meet" at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative. Here's what Monika Bacardi had to say in her statement.
"Memento is a masterpiece that leaves audiences guessing not just throughout the film, but long after as well, which is a testament to its daring approach. We intend to stay true to Christopher Nolan's vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic and award-worthy as the original. It's a big responsibility to deliver something that lives up to the mastery of the original, but we are extremely excited and motivated to bring this puzzle back to life and back into the minds of moviegoers."
AMBI Pictures parent company, AMBI Group ("AMBI"), is consortium of vertically integrated film development, production, finance and distribution companies owned and operated by Iervolino and Bacardi. With 10 films in production this year alone and over 15 produced since last year, AMBI has quickly emerged as one of the industry's most prolific financing, production and sales companies with the capacity to develop, package, finance, produce and sell a broad array of films for worldwide distribution. The original Memento was produced on just a $9 million budget, grossing $39.7 million at the box office worldwide. What do you think about Memento getting remade?