I never saw the original “Taking of Pelham123” movie because it was made before I was even born. It is hailed as a classic though, which makes the expectations for the remake (Don’t call it that in front of Denzel Washington…) pretty high. The 1974 “Taking of Pelham 123” stars Walter Matthau as the transit police lieutenant working to rescue passengers on the train hijacked by four armed men. The new version, coming out on June 12, changes things up a bit with the hero, played by Denzel Washington, inexperienced when it comes to crime-fighting since he’s a train dispatcher and not a policeman. The new movie is also more current and relevant in this post 9/11 world, making references to the Iraq war. The hijackers’ demands has also risen with inflation and is now $10 million, 10 times more than the $1 million actor Robert Shaw and his fellow hijackers asked for back in 1974.
With the movie premier no more than a few days away Denzel Washington and his other co-stars are busy promoting the movie. John Travolta, who takes over the role of Shaw, is notably absent from all the promotional hoopla. He’s taking time to grieve with his family for the loss of his teenage son, Jett, who died last January. In Travolta’s official website he thanked his co-stars and the production team saying, “Tony, Denzel, Luis, John, James and Sony Pictures stepped up without hesitation to help promote this wonderful film, and their unselfish efforts have allowed my family the additional time to reconcile our loss.” And though he couldn’t be physically present he has done his part by encouraging his fans in his letter to watch and enjoy the movie.