Although the recent English-language remake of The Secret in Their Eyes didn’t make much of an impression on critics or audiences, Sony is still determined to Americanize another critically-acclaimed, Oscar-nominated foreign film. Hopefully the studio’s plans for A Prophet work out a little better, and with Sam Raimi now on board to direct from a screenplay by master of crime Dennis Lehane, we are feeling…cautiously optimistic about this one.

Variety reports that Raimi has signed on to helm the American remake of A Prophet, based on Jacques Audiard’s 2009 French crime drama Un Prophete, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Oscars. The original film centers on a young Arab man who is sent to a French prison, where he rises through the ranks to become a mafia boss. Lehane adapted the screenplay from the original, though it’s unclear how the story and characters will be changed for US audiences.

Lehane is best known for writing the novels on which Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island and Ben Affleck’s upcoming Live By Night are based. He has also written for The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, and recently made his feature screenwriting debut with the somewhat underrated 2014 drama The Drop, starring Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini.

Raimi has an aptitude for crime drama / thrillers (The GiftA Simple Plan), making this a potentially excellent pairing of director, writer and material — though I’d prefer if Raimi and Lehane were teaming up for a more original venture instead of remaking a foreign project.

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