In what can only be described as an exercise in unnecessary filmmaking, AMBI Pictures has announced that it’s moving forward with a remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento, the movie that begins at the end and then slowly works its way back to the beginning. The movie is famous for introducing Christopher Nolan to the mainstream, as well as for its unusual narrative structure that manages to find an exceptional twist while running in reverse.
That’s also why the remake seems like a doomed endeavor. Memento is built entirely around a rather contrived gimmick, and while the result is great, that speaks more to the quality of Christopher Nolan’s filmmaking than it does the strength of the central idea, which could have failed spectacularly. I can’t imagine that the same trick will work twice (especially if audiences know what’s coming), which more or less guarantees that the remake will be a lesser version of the movie that inspired it.
Sadly, it seems that AMBI is determined to make lightning strike twice. The company secured the rights to Memento after acquiring Exclusive Media Group’s library of more than 400 films, which also includes Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko, and many other movies that absolutely do not need to be remade. It’s unclear if Christopher Nolan will have anything to do with the remake, but unless there’s Batman money on the table I’m guessing the answer will be ‘no.’
In Memento, Guy Pearce has to figure out who killed his wife despite the fact that he has no short-term memory, though he makes up for it by liberally tattooing clues all over his body. Memento was basically the cinematic precursor to Blindspot, albeit with with a far more plausible sense of scale. There’s no telling how closely the plot of the remake will stick to the original.