Movies In Focus can smell what The Rock is cooking – and it’s Chinese food. Dwayne Johnson is set to produce and star in a remake John Carpenter’s Big Trouble In Little China. The 1986 cult classic starred Kurt Russell as witless trucker Jack Burton, a John Wayne wannabe caught up in a mystical battle between good and evil in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Carpenter’s film is pretty much perfect in every way. It’s expertly written, well acted and it plays with the conventions and tone of the action genre in the 1980s (read a review). It bombed at the box office when it was ‘dumped’ by 20th Century Fox who didn’t know how to advertise the film, which flipped convention so that Russell’s Burton played sidekick to Dennis Dun’s Wang. The film grossed just $11 million from a then hefty $25 million budget but it went on to find a legion of fans (Dwayne Johnson being amongst their number) on video, TV and DVD.
Hollywood has been pillaging John Carpenter’s back catalogue for over a decade now, having remade Halloween, The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13 and The Thing. A remake of Escape From New York is also on the way which Carpenter is executive producing but none of these modern interpretations have been successful on a critical or commercial level.
Movies In Focus spoke with John Carpenter a while back and he seems frustrated by the way Hollywood now works:
When I got into the business there were still heads of studios who loved movies. That’s not true anymore… the way movies are made now days is so vastly different than the way they used to be. Big corporations, which don’t care about the movies. Which is the most important thing. They’re part of a whole. Too bad.
Dwayne Johnson is a charismatic guy, who is coming off the biggest solo opening of his career with San Andreas (and the $1.5 billion global grosser Furious 7 – which co-stars Kurt Russell), so it’s no wonder 20th Century Fox (which is also producting the Escape From New York remake) wants to team with the wrestler turned actor. Ashley Miller and Jack Stentz have been hired to write the script for the film which is currently without a director.
It’s probably safe to assume that this remake of Big Trouble In Little China will have none of the charm which makes the original so beloved.
Keep reading Movies In Focus for more news on Big Trouble In Little China.
Source: The Wrap