As if he didn't have too many comic book adaptations to write, Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand) has been named as the new screenwriter of Joel Silver's remake of The Dirty Dozen, which we unfortunately heard about early last year. Originally it was reported that the movie was being scripted by three high-profile writers, André Nemec, Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg, but apparently their work isn't good enough and a rewrite is now necessary. Of course, one has to wonder why Silver needs to go through so many writers when there's already a perfectly good screenplay by Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller. It isn't like too much needs to be updated; the movie is set in World War II. I'm not familiar with E.M. Nathanson's original novel, though, and I guess the first movie may have omitted some things that the new adaptation could include. Anyway, I guess it just isn't common practice to reuse an old script when remaking an old movie.
For those who haven't seen The Dirty Dozen, it's about a group of military criminals sent on a suicide mission to assassinate Nazi officers. It features an iconic ensemble of actors, most of whom were reunited to voice characters in Small Soldiers as a sort of homage. To the faithful, it will be very, very difficult to see a new version without Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy and the rest. I don't know what the time frame is for the production of the remake, but we may get to see it as early as next year. And if Silver can get the project going soon, maybe it can even go head to head with Penn's buddy Bryan Singer's Hitler assassination movie, Valkyrie. They might even make a good double feature -- or you can rent the original Dirty Dozen and then go see Valkyrie and more possibly experience a great double feature.