If the last several years of an internet obsessed with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta memes weren’t enough, get a load of this from Deadline: A reboot of the 1997 hit action spectacle, Face/Off is in the works at Paramount Pictures.
John Woo directed the original, casting the two aforememtioned actors for stoic LAPD detective Sean Archer, whose desperate undercover mission to save the city from a terrorist finds him swapping faces in a top-secret medical procedure with his sworn, now comatose archenemy, Castor Troy.
The procedure is a success. However, before Archer can complete his mission, Troy awakens from his coma, undergoes the procedure to wear Archer’s face and eliminates anything and anyone knowledgeable of Archer’s status. With time running out and his family in danger, Archer has no choice but to make one daring move after another to claim his family back before it’s too late.
A bit over the top in terms of creativity, yes, but this was the 90s, and for legendary auteur like Woo, bigger was especially better. Next to The Replacement Killers, Broken Arrow, Mission: Impossible 2 and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s action-packed cajun-style, tight jeans-wearin’ mullet fare in Hard Target, Face/Off is an entirely forgiveable feat that still holds up. The drama is intense, the action rocks, and simply put, it blows you the hell away. For what it’s worth, is $245 million global gross earnings that year is an entirely welcome fact.
Sadly, that wasn’t enough to keep Woo stateside as he ended up back in Asia, effectively sustaining himself in his element and I can’t really blame him. Nonetheless, Face/Off delivered the goods for its time, especially as a career highlight for Cage whose scenes provide any number of examples on some of the most impressive, over-the-top moments of his acting caliber; it certainly benefitted him in his portrayal of Troy with lines like “….Peach…. I could eat a peach for hours…”, or the moment Archer (a la Troy’s veneer) loses himself in a moment of being drugged before getting slugged by Gina Gershon’s character, Sasha.
As much as some may grieve the idea of another reboot, you can’t deny that someone’s evidently found a way to do it. And without a doubt, if the first teaser piques your interest, it’s reason enough to at least get you to consider seeing it when it comes out. Of course, that also depends on marketing, and I can think of at least one reboot where the marketing failed where it shouldn’t have…
…Talkin’ to you, Dredd.
A new cast will be in place to headline Paramount’s forthcoming Face/Off. In the meantime, 22 Jump Street, The Cloverfield Paradox and Sonic the Hedgehog scribe Oren Uziel is tasked with penning the reboot succeeding the original work of screenwriters Mike Werb and Michael Colleary.
Neal Moritz is producing with David Permut serving as exec producer.