Bad news for fans of sexagenarian-indie-auteur beef: The battle between Werner Herzog and Abel Ferrara — over Herzog’s upcoming Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which borrows a title and a crooked-detective premise from Ferrara’s 1992 film — seems to have cooled considerably. It wasn’t so long ago that Ferrara was wishing Herzog and Nicolas Cage, the star of the new Lieutenant, would “die in hell” for encroaching on his intellectual property (Herzog’s response: “I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is”). But this week, while both directors were attending the Venice Film Festival, Ferrara backed off a bit: “My beef is with the producers I don’t have a problem with Werner.”
And Herzog responded in kind, admitting that the title was in fact the idea of a producer looking for “some sort of a franchise” and pointing out that he’d insisted on the (might we add, beautifully clunky) subtitle, to minimize confusion with the original. The good news? We may be headed toward another bizarre peacemaking beer summit. When told that Herzog had suggested they hash everything out over a bottle of whiskey, Ferrara replied, “I don’t drink whiskey, I drink beer, I drink Budweiser.” Which means this could totally work.