One person who found Madonna’s remake of ”Swept Away” disappointing — and she hasn’t even seen it — is Lina Wertmuller, who directed the original version in 1974. It’s not just because she had a financial interest in the box-office nonstarter (she retained the rights to the Italian ticket receipts in return for granting the remake rights to Madonna and Guy Ritchie, the Washington Post reports). But she also is worried that the stench of failure from the new version will hinder her efforts to finance her own sequel.
The 74-year-old director, who’s in Washington, D.C., this weekend for a screening of her original Italian ”Swept Away” at the ”Washington, Italia” film festival, had planned to announce her sequel idea to festivalgoers on Saturday, the Post reports. But the meager box-office returns of the Ritchies’ version (two weeks ago, it opened to less than $375,000 on just 196 screens and has since all but disappeared from theaters) will make it hard for her to find backers, Wertmuller says. ”I am very, very worried, because that’s a problem for me,” she tells the Post. ”I have written a very funny story for the sequel, and I am very worried that maybe this is a disaster for me.”
Wertmuller, whose 1976 film ”Seven Beauties” made her the first woman to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar (since then, only ”The Piano”’s Jane Campion has received the same recognition), says she has yet to watch the remake. ”I am very curious to see it,” she tells the Post. (Unfortunately , according to Moviefone, it’s not playing in D.C. anymore.) Still, she says, ”I don’t understand why the picture is so awful. Why did Madonna and her husband let it out? It’s very crazy. They saw the picture. So why open like that? I don’t understand. They lost money. For Madonna, it’s the name and the face. This is terrible for her.”