If you're a fan of classic European pulp fiction, you'll be delighted by the news that Jerry Cotton will be returning to the big screen. If you're like me and have never heard of the guy, Cineuropa headlines him as "a German James Bond" and explains that Cotton is "an FBI agent created in the 1950s" by a German publishing house. The first novel based on the character appeared in 1954, hot on the heels of Ian Fleming's first James Bond adventure, Casino Royale, which was published the previous year. More than 100 writers have contributed to the 2500 editions (?!) of the fictional series, selling nearly a billion copies worldwide. Eight films were made in the 1960s, all starring George Nader, with English titles like Alarm on 83rd Street,Murderers Club of Brooklyn and Deadly Shots on Broadway.

The series sounds ripe for exploitation and/or reinvention. What will German filmmakers in the terrorist age do with an iconic hero who just happens to be an American law-enforcement figure from a long-gone era? Will they treat the character straight, or make fun of him? Christian Becker is producing; most recently, he was behind the spoof New From the Wanker.The Hollywood Reporter said "the whole film, from its set design to the cheesy music is a loving homage to Edgar Wallace, the Brit pulp icon [and crime writer] the British forgot." The young directors, Philipp Stennert and Cyrill Boss, will adapt and direct the new Cotton movie, and their respective filmographies list more comedies than anything else. It's a reasonable conclusion that the new/old G-man will go for easy laughs rather than sophisticated thrills. Perhaps the directors will pay homage by using music from original composer Peter Thomas; he already received a "thanks" credit on New From the Wanker, probably for composing some of the old Edgar Wallace film adaptations. Whatever they do, I hope they keep the red Jaguar that Cotton drives, as long as it looks like this.
categories Cinematical