taken from New Straits Times, Feb 26, 2011
Azura, is currently being remade by director, Aziz M. Osman.
The new version is produced by Ace Motion Sdn Bhd with a staggering RM1.7 million (S$708,850) price tag -- a budget normally spent on action and horror films.
The film stars newcomers -- Shah Jaszle and Noor Neelofa as Zack and Azura, the roles made famous by Jamal Abdillah and Fauziah Ahmad Daud.
The remake also stars music maestro M. Nasir and award-winning actress, Erma Fatimah. The production team is still trying to woo Fauziah to appear in a cameo role.
But can a remake of a film made more than 20 years ago explode at the box-office?
The original film, which was made in 1984, was produced by Sabah Film Productions and directed by the late M. Amin.
One of the main factors why it was a box-office hit was Jamal. It was the singer's first starring role and his chemistry with actress, Fauziah, practically set the screen on fire.
Two songs from the film, Sandarkan Pada Kenangan and Azura were instant hits. Therefore, ensuring the new version's success can be considered a tall order, even for an accomplished filmmaker like Aziz.
This is Aziz's comeback film as a director. His last film was Senario Pemburu Emas Yamashita (2006). Currently, Aziz is doing post production work for his science-fiction comedy, CE1. Aziz had been talking about remaking Azura since 2004.
In fact, he even planned a reality TV competition to look for the right girl to play the coveted role of Azura. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the project was in limbo until recently.
Before this, the project was hit by one controversy after another. The first involved actor Gambit Saifullah, who was originally offered the role of Zack. Due to "a miscommunication problem", Gambit was replaced by another new actor, Shah, who was also embroiled in controversy.
Shah became the talk of the town when intimate photos of him and actress Maria Farida were distributed on social networking sites.
Recently, it was reported by a Malay tabloid that Shah and Maria had called it quits and that the actor is now dating his Azura co-star, Noor Neelofa.
Aside from the controversies that may, or may not help the film, Aziz had also changed the setting and the main characters' background.
In the original film, Azura is a secondary schoolgirl from a poor family who falls in love with an irresponsible boy from a wealthy family. In the remake, Azura is a cashier at a paintball centre who falls in love with an irresponsible boy from a wealthy family.
And while the original shows the lovers frolicking in Genting Highlands, the remake takes them to Paris and London. Aziz said that among the places that would be featured in the new film are The Thames, London Tower, Champs-Elysees and the Louvre Museum.
As for the evergreen songs from the original film, they will be re-arranged by Nasir. It is still too early to predict how the new Azura will do at the box-office.
With no star power, the film relies more on branding to entice movie-goers, especially those who grew up watching the original