As movies continue to get more and more violent -- and as filmmakers keep defending the violence -- it makes sense that one of the most controversially violent films would get a remake. Yes, Sam Peckinpah's disturbing classic Straw Dogs is being redone, and this time it will of course take place in America. The original, for those who haven't seen it, took place in the English countryside, where a couple played by Dustin Hoffman and Susan George are terrorized by locals. Screen Gems is still in the process of acquiring the rights to the film, but they already have a screenwriter (Reed Steiner) and a director (Rod Lurie). The project definitely appears to be more on track than the proposed remake of Peckinpah's Wild Bunch we heard about awhile back.

Considering Peckinpah's Straw Dogs is pretty sick even by today's standards, Steiner and Lurie will have to up the violence to possibly NC-17 levels. Personally, I can hardly stand the graphic nature of the raping and murdering that occurs in the 35-year-old original, so I don't know what more I could take in a redo. Fortunately the new version won't be made by someone like Eli Roth. I have hopes that Lurie, who made The Contender, one of my favorite films of 2000, will be concentrating on the themes of violence more than the actual depiction of violence, since the director tends to work with more political material. Certainly the more interesting aspect -- and one of the more controversial aspects -- of Straw Dogs is the how Hoffman and George react to the violence committed against them as well as by them.