You could make pun after pun about The Rock‘s cinematic success over the past few years – how he’s broken out, rolled into Hollywood, built momentum and gathered a surprisingly small amount of moss. I’m not going to do those puns because it’s too easy and too weak: also it’s common knowledge that if you call Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” he’ll come to your house and make a hefty, protein rich sandwich out of your face.
In the works right now he’s got his upcoming HBO series Ballers, he’s cleaning up after the successful premiere of San Andreas, and let’s not forget his casting as Black Adam for DC and Warner Bros. Now we’re getting wind of a potential passion project for the action prodigy in the form of an 80’s cult classic.
Slashfilm is reporting that Johnson is in talks to star in a remake of the John Carpenter‘s quote-classic-end quote Big Trouble in Little China. For those of you not familiar with the film, it’s a comedy action film that does a hilarious tightrope walk between mystical martial arts and vest-wearing-American-action-hero-dudery. It’s a hard film to out your finger on, but once you realise what and what not to take seriously you’re fine.
Johnson himself is apparently a huge fan of the film, which is why he pitched the idea of a remake to 20th Century Fox with production partners Danny Garcia and Hiram Garcia. Now they just need to determine if Johnson will definitely assume the role of Jack Burton, originally played by Kurt Russell. On paper it seems like an ideal casting. After all, Johnson is clearly a fan of the film, and he has more than enough experience with blending comedy and action seamlessly into a fine paste. And it’s not the first time that Johnson has played the macho headed fool, which Big Trouble‘s Jack Burton invariably is, despite believing himself to be the hero.
There are going to be some tricky calls when it comes to this remake. For starters part of the original’s charm is the goofy special effects combined with some pretty funky martial arts, paying lip service to the great Kung Fu flicks that preceded it. How will they fare with that balance this time around? Will they go all out with the cgi and the fighting choreography, creating some kind of 47 Ronin / John Wick hybrid? Yes, I realise they’re both Keanu Reeves films. No, Keanu Reeves has not been cast in this remake.
Alternatively they could stay on the comedic side, making more room for physical gags and callbacks to the original. Both sounds pretty dubious, so hopefully with Johnson on board they can find a good blend.
Who else would you like to see in a Big Trouble remake?
For people who grew up in the 80’s, certain films that came out of that decade are untouchable. You can’t criticise them, you can’t not watch them when they’re on TV and you most certainly can’t remake them. It’ always action films with a heavy-hitting action star at the helm, and you either love it or you go home. I spite of that, there’s always been one film that received constant remake attention, and one that we’ve all been anticipating for good or ill. That film is Escape From New York. Well folks, after a few years of nothing happening, another chess piece has been moved and Fox has obtained the rights to the franchise.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the film, Escape from New York was a 1981 science fiction action film from John Carpenter. Set in 1997, the films follows Kurt Russell as former soldier Snake Plissken, who goes in search of the President after his plane crash landed in New York. The only problem is that New York is now a city-wide maximum security prison. How cool is that? Actually hang on a minute, I just-I gotta go watch Escape From New York again.
Ok I’m back. Man, what a great movie that was. The good news for remake doubters is that Carpenter will be coming back as an executive producer, and Carpenter’s all about protecting his intellectual property. So you can bet that the remake won’t completely ruin the original forever at least. Besides, he already made most of his mistakes with the 1996 sequel Escape From LA. There’s no word on casting or filming yet as the rights have only just been obtained, but hopefully we’ll start seeing some momentum and before you know it we’ll have a brand new Plissken on the big screen. Or maybe Kurt Russell will come back – how cool would that be? In any case, we’ll be on the look-out for even the faintest update.
Are you jonesing for some Plissken?