Caine & Law star in a New, Shorter "Sleuth"

Philadelphia Daily News, 13 September 2007
By Howard Gensler

TORONTO - Michael Caine, Jude Law and director Kenneth Branagh discussed their new version of "Sleuth" yesterday - it's showing here at the Toronto International Film Festival - and here is the key talking point.

It's. Not. A. Remake.

The film boasts a script by Harold Pinter, based on Anthony Shaffer's play, and Caine said there's not one line of dialogue from the "Sleuth" he made with Laurence Olivier 35 years ago.

Another big difference: The first "Sleuth" got five days of rehearsal and 16 weeks of shooting. This "Sleuth" got three weeks of rehearsal and only four weeks of shooting.

"The whole movie was shot on a kind of adrenaline rush," Caine said.

"This new film is also an hour shorter than the one with Larry," Caine said, and he's still trying to figure out "what the hell did we do for the other hour?"

So we can save more about "Sleuth" for the film's release, Caine chose to point out that Heath Ledger is a "revelation" as the Joker in the upcoming Batman sequel.

Amazed that Cate Blanchett won an acting award at the Venice Film Festival for her role as Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," Caine laughed.

"Bloody hell," he said, "I'm going to play Marilyn Monroe."

Jude Law (who also co-produced the new "Sleuth") said that doing this after "Alfie" may have been a mistake.

"Oh, Jude, doesn't he do Michael Caine movies?" he joked.

In fact, doing "Alfie" at all may have been a mistake.

Echoing the exact thought of Daily News film critic Gary Thompson when he saw the film, Law said, "My take during the making of it was that Alfie should have been a woman. That's how you modernize it."


As for the film's lackluster box office, Law said "Alfie" "cost too much money, which put too much pressure on it.

"For me it was massive pressure. But you learn from your mistakes and you choose more carefully."

For his next project, Law has chosen a dark, science-fiction comedy called "The Repossession Mambo," with Forest Whitaker.

Law said, "It's like that Monty Python sketch, 'I've come for your pancreas . . .' "

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