A remake of John Woo‘s 1997 action epic Face/Off is reportedly in the works at Paramount. Oren Uziel will write the script, while Fast and Furious franchise producer Neal Moritz will produce.
The original film starred Nicolas Cage and John Travolta duelling as FBI agent Sean Archer and homicidal terrorist Castor Troy, who assume each other’s identities to take the other down. The premise was ridiculous but the film was both a critical and commercial hit, becoming arguably Woo’s best American release and the 11th highest grossing movie of 1997.
The idea behind the remake is that it will benefit supremely from advances in technology Hollywood has made in the two-plus decades since the original. Whether this version can match Woo’s talent for superb action and the charisma of Cage and Travolta is another question.
This is just the latest reboot Paramount has commissioned. They also have sequels to Top Gun and Coming To America in the works as they hope to cash in on audience’s familiarity with these properties. At some point audiences are going to get sick of all these remakes and belated sequels, but studios will keep churning them out until they do.
Uziel and Moritz have worked together previously on 22 Jump Street, and also on another upcoming Paramount project, the Sonic The Hedgehog movie. Uziel also wrote the Netflix movies The Cloverfield Paradox and Shimmer Lake.
The writing of the original Face/Off isn’t really the thing that keeps bringing people back to that film, so we’ll wait and see who is brought on board to direct and star before passing judgement. It’s possible the technological advances can make a modern Face/Off worthwhile. It’s also possible that this is just another Hollywood cash-grab.