The idea of remakes generally seems to irritate most serious movie fans. Remakes of older, classic films are (usually) annoying enough, but perhaps the worst remake sin Hollywood can commit is to remake a well-respected foreign language film in English.
However, if there’s money to be made then Hollywood will make (or remake) pretty much anything. Such is the case with the long-gestating remake of John Woo’s 1989 classic action flick, The Killer, originally starring Chow Yun Fat. An English language remake of The Killer has been in the cards for years, but after several unsuccessful attempts to remake it in English it looks like things are finally moving forward.
The news comes from an official press release (via Deadline): Essential Entertainment has joined forces with Woo’s own Lion Rock Productions to bring the Hollywood remake of The Killer to fruition… in 3D no less (did you actually expect it NOT to be in 3D at this point?).
The remake will be directed by John H. Lee (A Moment To Remember) from a script written by Josh Campbell (assistant editor on Blade II and Van Helsing). The film already has its lead, who will step into Chown Yun Fat’s intimidating shoes: Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, star of The Good, The Bad, The Weird (he played “The Good”).
What may make this remake easier to swallow is the fact that Woo himself will be heavily involved as a full producer (read: not just attaching his name as exec producer to draw attention). In fact, Woo has been the greatest champion of a remake over the years as the original remains one of the favorite films he’s ever made.
“While all my films are special to me, The Killer is truly one of my favorites. We are thrilled to reinvent it as an English-language film and know it’s in capable hands by the incredible visual style and tender emotion John H. Lee brings to all his films.”
On the chance that you’re unfamiliar with Woo’s original Killer, the film is about an elite assassin who accidentally blinds a young woman whilst on a job (in one of Woo’s many, many shootout sequences). He then takes on one last job in order to pay for the woman’s eyesight to be restored, but the gangster who hired him refuse to cough up the money. The titular killer then teams up with the detective who is out to catch him. Fans of the original can breathe a little easier as it looks like the plot won’t be altered much (if at all).
Although Woo isn’t in the director’s chair for The Killer remake, he is the producer so he’ll likely have a lot of input as to how it turns out. He clearly loves his original film so I don’t think he’d allow a remake to drop the ball (at least we hope he wouldn’t).
This, of course, isn’t Woo’s first experience in Hollywood as he made Face/Off (arguably his most enjoyable film), Mission: Impossible II, Windtalkers, Hostage and Paycheck. Clearly Woo’s Hollywood career hasn’t been without fault, but at least he’s had experience and isn’t shepherding The Killer remake as a newbie to Hollywood feature filmmaking.
Does The Killer NEED to be remade? Obviously not and the fact that it will be in 3D doesn’t exactly helps matters. But I suppose we can always hang onto the fact that Woo himself is heavily involved.
I leave the rest of the discussion up to you: Is The Killer remake a good idea?