Things weren't so peaceful in the movie buff land when word got out a few weeks ago that Werner Herzog plans to remake Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage in the lead role. Even noted trash auteur Abel Ferrara publicly complained about having his work redone. Bad Lieutenant isn't anybody's idea of a good time: Harvey Keitel puts on a freakishly raunchy performance. Still, it definitely sounds like Herzog's pumped about the gig. Defamer cornered the director in New York today for a few questions about the project, and the responses are kind of amazing. Herzog tends to do a great job of explaining himself, no matter what crazy scheme he has cooked up, but the best part of this interview arrives when the guy claims utter cluelessness about Ferrara's work. Way to stick it to the source material.

To hear Herzog tell it, his version of Bad Lieutenant isn't a remake, although he wouldn't know, since it sounds like hasn't actually seen the original. However, he says that Cage's character's name and the plot are entirely new. Herzog apparently liked the "very, very dark story," written by William M. Finkelstein, and he can't wait to work with Cage (given Herzog's notorious appreciation of Anna Nicole Smith, this last bit actually makes sense). Hearing about Ferrara's discontent, Herzog just eggs him on: "Let him fight the windmills, like Don Quixote." It's a feud made in heaven, almost too good to be true. You might just call it ecstatic truth.

Top: Early poster art for the new 'Bad Lieutenant,' snapped at the Cannes Film Festival last month.