Such is the case with Jar City, an excellent mystery thriller that Cinematical's Kim Voynar raved about last year at Telluride. It's the highest-grossing film in the country's history, from one of its most successful (and prolific directors), and it won a top prize at the 2007 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
And now it gets the ultimate honor: an American remake! (There may have been sarcasm in the word "honor.") According to The Hollywood Reporter, Overture Films has bought the remake rights and will employ the original writer/director, Baltasar Kormákur, as a producer. No word yet on who will direct the U.S. version, but a writer has been attached: Michael Ross, who wrote Turistas and who THR says is also penning the Near Dark remake.
The Icelandic setting will be changed, of course, to its logical American counterpart: Louisiana. No, really. I'm curious to see how the story transfers, since some of its details relate to the insularity of those small Icelandic communities. Also, I loved that the detective in the original was a total badass despite looking like a nerdy college professor. (That's him in the picture.) I hope they keep that element for the remake. William H. Macy would be perfect.
As far as I can determine, this is the first time an Icelandic film has officially gotten an American remake. If anyone knows differently, let me know. Otherwise, I'm marking this as a historic first for our friends in the North Atlantic.