John Woo Will Remake ‘The Killer’
John Woo made his reputation as one of the greatest directors of action in history with a series series of unforgettable Hong Kong thrillers in the mid-1980s: A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled, and especially The Killer, a bleak and beautiful film about an assassin (Chow Yun Fat) who accidentally injures a woman’s eyes, and then accepts one last job in order to fund the surgery she needs to save her sight.
Woo’s movies were hugely influential on the action cinema of the 1990s, and that doesn’t even take into account the American thrillers Woo himself made during that time, like Hard Target and Face/Off. For a while, everyone in action movies was jumping in the air in slo-mo while dual wielding pistols, and it was all thanks to Woo.
Woo’s style eventually fell out of fashion, and Woo himself returned to China by the mid 2000s; he’s mostly made historical epics for the last 15 years. But now Woo is returning to American filmmaking for a new version of The Killer that will premiere on Peacock. According to the press release, “celebrated action auteur John Woo returns to reimagine and direct his own classic, THE KILLER.”
With this new version of The Killer, Woo will join the ranks of directors who’ve remade their own movies. It’s a rare occurrence but it has happened before; Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much while Michael Haneke made directed versions of Funny Games. Michael Mann essentially remade his own L.A. Takedown as Heat, while George Sluizer directed Dutch and English-language versions of The Vanishing. The remakes are rarely as good as the originals, but it worked out pretty well in the case of Heat, so you never know.
Peacock’s press release gave no indication of casting or a timeline when we might see the film beyond some time in 2023. They also announced they working on a movie about LeBron James’ “origin story” called Shooting Stars and a film called Praise This from the producer of Girls Trip.