Joseph Ruben Will Remake Orson Welles’ The Stranger

The director of The Stepfather will reinvent the post-World War II thriller as a serial killer film.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani


Orson Welles may be one of the most famous film directors who ever lived, but in his entire directing career he only ever had one financial success: The Stranger, a 1946 thriller about Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler (Welles), the very man who first conceived of the Holocaust, hiding out in America and evading capture from a government agent played by Edward G. Robinson. It's an exceptional thriller, despite reportedly being Welles' least favorite of all his films, and now it's being remade by Joseph Ruben, the director of a few exceptional thrillers of his own.

Hollywood Reporter announces that the remake, written by Alanna Belak, has been changed to a modern setting. Instead of a Nazi war criminal, the villain is now a reformed serial killer whose small town retirement is interrupted by the return of his former partner in crime. The original film centered around the torment of the criminal's wife (Loretta Young), whose doubts about her husband's innocence are intentionally exploited by Edward G. Robinson to force his dastardly quarry to reveal himself. No mention is made in the Hollywood Reporter article of whether this storyline remains intact.

Joseph Ruben is the director of many well-remembered genre movies, including several that also focused on murderers hiding out within supposedly normal families: The Stepfather, starring "Lost's" Terry O'Quinn, Sleeping with the Enemy, starring Julia Roberts, and The Good Son, starring Macauley Culkin.

Orson Welles' version of The Stranger has been in the public domain since 1973, and is both widely available and highly recommended.

CraveOnline will be back with more The Stranger news after we finish the paper chase.