John Woo’s 1989 The Killer, remains, two decades later, one of the most lauded and iconic entries into the Asian “shoot-‘em-up” genre. So naturally, it’s being remade in English and given the 3-D treatment. This announcement from the dubiously-named Essential Entertainment (via Deadline) states:
Essential Entertainment has joined Lion Rock Productions in its remake of THE KILLER in 3D, currently in pre-production, which will be directed by John H. Lee (A Moment to Remember, Saying Good-bye Oneday) and written by Josh Campbell. Jung Woo-Sung (Reign of Assassins, The Good, The Bad, The Weird) will star in this English language re-telling of John Woo’s iconic action masterpiece, with additional cast to be announced shortly. The film will be produced by Woo (Face/Off, Mission: Impossible II) and Terence Chang under their Lion Rock Productions banner.
Of course, the release doesn’t say what the movie is actually about, so allow me: A hitman grows weary of his profession, and, during a crisis of conscience, accepts one last job in order to collect money to right a wrong he made earlier in his life.
While remakes of this type have been all over the map, the remake of Infernal Affairs into a quiet little film called The Departed may have gotten studios back on the bandwagon that they were quick to hop off of in the late 1990’s. Further, given Woo‘s track record recently, it could be seen as a blessing that he isn’t sitting in the director’s chair on this one. Perhaps the hiring of John H. Lee will save moviegoers from the agony of another Paycheck.
The producers have appeared to stay true to the film’s roots in another regard as well, hiring a domesticall unknown Asian actor in the lead. While this move may wind up hurting the film’s marketing efforts, it suggests that the project won’t be reduced to another watered-down American action film, instead relying more on the sensibilities of its Asian roots.
Quietly, dove wranglers and gold-plated pistol manufacturers rejoice.