[Update: Not so fast! Awaken the Dragon screenplay writer Kurt Sutter is questioning claims of Rain's involvement!]
A few months ago we gave you an update on the planned remake of the classic Bruce Lee martial arts flick, Enter the Dragon, this time renamed Awaken the Dragon. The main part of the update was that Latino Review had a "confirmed source" which said that Korean pop-star-turned-action-star, Rain (currently starring in the awesome-looking Ninja Assassin), was going to be filling Lee's shoes in the lead role.
Fast forward a few months, and it appears that Latino Review's scoop was right on the money, as a video interview over at Cinemablend featuring Rain himself confirms that he's at least considering the Awaken the Dragon role. Of course, he doesn't give much away, but does hint that he's talked to the studio about it and would be up for playing the role if he's officially offered it. I share Katey Rich from Cinemablend's thoughts that WB is probably holding off to see how Ninja Assassin does at the box office before they commit Rain to another big action flick.
Awaken the Dragon has already got The Shield writer/producer Kurt Sutter handling the script, as well as making his directorial debut. The film is said to be changing up the story of the original Enter the Dragon just a bit: it will now be about a lone FBI agent who pursues a rogue Shaolin monk to get him to participate in the world of underground fight clubs. WB is apparently looking for an already-established and well known American actor to play the agent, and now we know they've at least got Rain in mind for the ass-kicking monk.
I'll admit I was dubious when Rain was announced to be starring in Ninja Assassin, simply because he's only done a handful of films, performing in supporting roles that aren't anywhere near as intense and physical as a film like Ninja Assassin demands. However, after seeing all the stuff that's come out from the film (such as the official trailer and clips), any doubts I had about Rain being a legitimate action star have officially been eradicated.
Rain in Ninja Assassin
That all said, I would absolutely love to see Rain take on the lead role in Awaken the Dragon, even if the film is yet another questionable remake. Enter The Dragon is a classic, no doubt, and I'm always wary when Hollywood decides to redo a classic. But it sounds like they're really trying to add something different to the mix with the story/style (Sutter is planning a kind of neo-noir), and Rain possibly starring in it sounds good to me.
UPDATE: Following the posting of this article Screen Rant was promptly contacted by Awaken the Dragon screenplay writer Kurt Sutter, where he questions the claims that Rain is in line for this role!
According to Sutter:
I just wanted to update you on my status with the "dragon" remake. Unfortunately, the project was a victim of the writer's strike and I was forced to abandon it because of my commitment to "Sons of Anarchy". If Rain is attached, I am no longer involved in the project, nor is my original pitch (neo-noir) valid. Honestly, and I could be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that any actor is attached to this project because as far as I know it has stalled in development at Warner Bros. I fear you could be the victim of wishful self-promotion. The next time someone interviews Rain, they should ask if he's read the script or met with the director.
Would you like to see Ninja Assassin's Rain, star in Awaken the Dragon? Do you think a redo of Enter the Dragon is called for or is it yet another that should be left alone?
Ninja Assassin hits theaters on November 25th, 2009 (next Wednesday).
There's no word on when Awaken the Dragon will start shooting or be released.