Some people simply say they are fans of John Woo. I can’t say that, because I have to admit that I am not. I am a fan of John Woo’s Hong Kong heroic bloodshed movies, his pre-Windtalkers Hollywood output, and his more recent historical work in China, meaning Red Cliff. That’s the part of John Woo’s oeuvre that I love.
And among all of that, the Killer holds a place of distinction. It was the first John Woo movie I ever saw, and it was the movie I used to get other people interested in John Woo. If you can stomach the melodrama, and you love the balletic violence, there’s more where that came from. It’s also a high-water mark, arguably along with Hard Boiled.
Now there’s going to be an English-language adaptation of the Killer. It doesn’t sound like a straight re-make, but darn close. Word is that Woo is producing, along with Terence Chang, so there’s a strong connection to the original. It’s going to be directed by Korea’s John H. Lee (who shares a given and surname with Chow Yun Fat’s character in the Replacement Killers, so that’s certainly less than six degrees), and starring Jung Woo-Sung (he of Musa the Warrior, the Good, the Bad, and the Weird and John H. Lee’s A Moment to Remember) in the Chow Yun Fat role.
It might be in 3D.
I wish I could be excited about this, but unless this is going to be shot in Korea, Hong Kong or China, without Hollywood representation, and unless fate smiles on it, I have a sense this is going to be a mess. Korea has had some very good action movies, but even when they try to mimic the HK heroic bloodshed style, it tends to be American-ized. If John H. Lee considers the action scenes from movies like the Good, the Bad, and the Weird, Old Boy, Nowhere to Hide, and A Bittersweet Life we might see something interesting.
Will it have the Killer’s impact? I doubt that. I doubt that very, very much.