Close to half of the films produced in Hollywood every year are based on books, TV-series, comic books, cartoons or earlier films. Many of these earlier films are produced in other countries than the United States. Making a film based on another film can be a dangerous game, especially if that earlier film is a product of a different country and different culture.
This thesis looks at the differences in remakes and their originary films, and more specifically the differences between the two Norwegian films Hodet over vannet (Nils Gaup, 1993) and Insomnia (Erik Skjoldbjærg, 1999) and their American remakes Head Above Water (Jim Wilson, 1996) and Insomnia (Christopher Nolan, 2002). The analysis focuses on the cultural and industry related differences that can be read out of comparing the films.
The thesis makes the claim that the there are many pitfalls that a production company or a director can fall into when remaking a film from a different country, and that both the ideological content and the narrative structure of the films have to be reworked in order to make a successful cross-cultural remake.