‘The Killer’ remake: A leap forward for Lupita Nyong’o, a leap back for John Woo
Action fandom is getting in a twist with the news that John Woo is remaking arguably his best-loved movie – 1989’s The Killer. On the one hand, it’s great to see the legendary action director coming back West at last; on the other hand, there’s the question of why he should need to revisit his signature work. Then there’s the small matter of who’s in line to take over from the sainted Chow Yun-Fat (Dragonball: Evolution) for the lead.
Deadline reported that Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther) is in negotiations to star as the professional assassin with a knack for jumping through the air firing two guns at once, as the project has reportedly been put together with Nyong’o in mind. 10 Cloverfield Lane’s Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken wrote the first draft, subsequently touched up by Collide’s Eran Creevy, with Brian Helgeland (who wrote Woo’s last Hollywood movie Paycheck) poised to make further revisions.
Inevitably, some fans are less than pleased with this new, shaking their fists at that damned liberal affirmative action casting or whatever. Of course, given Nyong’o already has an Oscar to her name for 12 Years A Slave and has taken key supporting roles in both the new Star Wars movies and Marvel’s Black Panther, there’s no doubt she’s earned the right to headline a major movie.
As for Woo, it isn’t entirely surprising it’s taken this long. His breakthrough run of heroic bloodshed movies (A Better Tomorrow 1 & 2, Bullet in the Head, and Hard Boiled) never stood a chance of being outshone by his later US productions (Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II being the most high profile).
Even so, for the 70-year-old director’s stateside comeback to be a remake of what many would call his most perfect film, it’s definitely a bit of a double-edged sword. Or maybe double-fisted Beretta might be a more appropriate analogy. Regardless, it’s happening and The Killer is poised to shoot in France and Germany later this year, with no release date currently set.