Rob Spalding writes for Bleeding Cool.
Word from Cannes is that John Woo is going to be producing an English language remake of his second best Heroic Bloodshed film, The Killer.
Bruno Wu's Seven Stars Film Studios (SSFS) has agreed to finance John Woo and Terence Chang's Lion Rock Productions The Killer, the English language retelling of John Woo's iconic 1989 action film. John H. Lee (71: Into the Fire) will direct the script by Josh Campbell (One Square Mile).
While One Square Mile won't be out until next year, so we can't judge Campbell's writing yet, 71: Into The Fire has been on my "must see" list since I saw the trailer a few weeks ago. Having seen it this afternoon I am now confident that the director has the skills to do The Killer justice.
71: Into The Fire actually feels like a John Woo Heroic Bloodshed film. The action in it is well directed with some great moments, all of which certainly bodes well for this remake.
As for capturing the emotion of the original? It sounds like Lee's first film A Moment to Remember demonstrates the chops needed to wring every ounce out of the Killer's unusual situation.
John H. Lee's award-winning film A Moment to Remember remains the highest-grossest Korean film in Japan to date and won the Grand Bell Award for its screenplay.
The new Killer's synopsis sounds identical to the original, which is also a good sign – why change it if you don't have to?
Set in present day Los Angeles, Jef, a highly skilled contract killer falls in love with the only living witness to his latest job, a female singer, played by Sarah Yan Li, who was blinded during the hit.
Meanwhile, Detective Vaughn, the cop assigned to investigate Jef's hit, has a chance to save his reputation when he correctly, and fatefully, suspects Jef to be the killer, but after witnessing Jef display an act of heroism, Vaughn's perceptions of right and wrong begin to change.
All of which gives me hope that maybe someone, Cine-Asia most likely, will now take the opportunity to re-release the original here in the UK.
Filming is due to start towards the end of this year in Toronto, once again doubling for an American city.
Here's the trailer for 71: Into the Fire