In its first major move since emerging from bankruptcy in April, Relativity Studios has acquired the remake rights to the 1952 Academy Award-winning film High Noon.
The modernized version, which will be set in the present day along the cartel-controlled U.S.-Mexico border, marks Relativity’s first new project post-Chapter 11. It also signals the type of films that newly installed president Dana Brunetti will pursue as he looks to rebuild the studio and put his stamp on Relativity’s slate more in line with his previous projects as a producer like The Social Network, Captain Phillips and House of Cards.
Brunetti negotiated directly with Karen Kramer, the widow of High Noon producer Stanley Kramer, to secure the rights. Kramer will produce alongside Stephen S. Jaffe. Relativity’s co-CEO Ryan Kavanaugh will executive produce alongside Brunetti.
Relativity will produce, finance and distribute the film.
“High Noon is one of the most iconic films of all time,” said Brunetti. “I’m honored to be a part of modernizing this timeless story and bringing it to a new generation.”
The original High Noon centered on retiring sheriff Will Kane, who vows to stand alone to protect his small town when he learns that a vicious local criminal has been released from prison and is coming back to seek his revenge. The film won four Oscars, including one for best actor by Gary Cooper as the sheriff. Considered one of the all-time classics of cinema, it also starred Grace Kelly as Kane’s pacifist wife and employed the ticking-clock timeline that made it more of a dramatic thriller than a Western.
“Stanley’s signature films were about social justice, in one form or another,” Karen Kramer said. “And in High Noon, he even struck an early blow for the empowerment of women. We are delighted to be making this picture with Relativity.”
Relativity will move quickly to attach a writer, followed by a director, and has made the project a high priority.