Werner Herzog is a bad mother. Not in the way that Andrea Yates is a bad mother, but more like Samuel L. Jackson. Here’s a guy—and we’re not even going to include his daredevil filmography—who has the audacity to remake a cult classic and claim to have never seen a movie by the director who made it. He actually claims to not know who the director is. When it was announced that Herzog would be remaking the Harvey Keitel crime drama Bad Lieutenant with Nicholas Cage in the lead, people didn’t believe it. Well, it’s going down, and Abel Ferrara, the original film’s director, is peeved. Last month at Cannes, he vented on the issue, saying, “I wish these people die in Hell. I hope they’re all in the same streetcar, and it blows up.” What about everyone is else on that streetcar? Is Abel Ferrara summoning the death of innocents, just so his movie won’t get remade? Grim.
Anyhow, when pressed about Ferrara’s comments by Defamer, Herzog lobbed the perfect comeback—ignorance. “I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is. But let him fight the windmills, like Don Quixote.” Ah, brilliant, and a swift reference to his passion project. Herzog went on: “I don’t feel like doing an homage to Abel Ferrara because I don’t know what he did—I’ve never seen a film by him. I have no idea who he is. Is he Italian? Is he French? Who is he?” But the German warrior wasn’t finished. Just as Ferrera was about to get back up, Herzog landed the knockout punch. “Maybe I could invite him to act in a movie! Except I don’t know what he looks like.”
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