John Carpenter's films have regularly received the remake treatment, with plans currently developing for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to star in a reboot of the fantasy-horror-comedy classic Big Trouble in Little China. This news has some fans excited, but Carpenter himself thinks it's merely an opportunity to cash in on a title.
"They want a movie with Dwayne Johnson. That's what they want. So they just picked that title," Carpenter shared with CinemaBlend. "They don't give a sh-t about me and my movie. That movie wasn't a success."
It's hard to argue with Carpenter's reaction to the upcoming film, as his original only took in $11 million in its initial 1986 release. Compared to his other straighforward horror films, like Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China's unique blend of genres created a unique experience for viewers that was difficult to market to audiences of the time. In the decades since, the film's following has grown immensely, thanks in large part to the lead performance from Kurt Russell, but it could still be considered an overlooked entry in his filmography.
The filmmaker might not have much enthusiasm for the upcoming film, but he also doesn't aim to stop it from being made, as Carpenter has previously revealed he supports all of his films getting remakes so long as the check clears.
"I love it, if they are going to pay me money. If they pay me, it’s wonderful," Carpenter shared with The Guardian last year. "If they don’t pay me, I don’t care. I think it’s unfair if they don’t pay me. I think everyone should pay me. Why not? I’m an old guy now and I need money. Send me money."
In the original film, Jack Burton (Russell) gets mixed up in the world of mystical Chinese gangs when his tractor trailer goes missing in San Francisco's Chinatown, plunging him in over his head. Producer of the planned remake Hiram Garcia previously detailed that the film will be more of a continuation of the franchise than a re-telling of the first film.
“There’s a lot of things going on with [Big Trouble in Little China]. We are in the process of developing that, and let me tell you, the idea is not to actually remake Big Trouble in Little China," Garcia shared with Collider. "You can’t remake a classic like that, so what we’re planning to do is we’re going to continue the story. We’re going to continue the universe of Big Trouble in Little China."
"Everything that happened in the original exists and is standalone and I think there’s only one person that could ever play Jack Burton, so Dwayne would never try and play that character," Garcia noted. "So we are just having a lot of fun. We’re actually in a really great space with the story that we’ve cracked. But yeah, no remake. It is a continuation, and we are deep into development on that as well, and I think you’ll start hearing some things about that probably soon.”
Reports of the remake date back to 2015, with no clear production schedule in sight for the project, so it's unclear when the film will start to take shape.
Stay tuned for details on the Big Trouble in Little China remake.
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