Paramount Pictures is reportedly looking to reboot Face/Off, the 1997 John Woo hit that saw John Travolta and Nicolas Cage playing a cop and a fugitive terrorist whose faces are swapped through plastic surgery, leading to hijinks. Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, The Cloverfield Paradox) has been set to write the script, which will recast the story wit new characters, according to a Deadline report. The original movie was a hit for the studio, who since the sale of Marvel to Disney have not had as many major franchise hits as they used to. If Face/Off were successful, it would be another opportunity to exploit older IP for newer films.
Paramount has had big success with that formula with the Mission: Impossible franchise, which now has so many installments that it feels as if it has just always been there. They also have World War Z, the Dreamworks Animation brand, the Transformers franchise, and some movies that are harder -- but not impossible -- to image sequels and remakes for, like Grease and Forrest Gump. After the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, the studio's next big blockbuster is Top Gun: Maverick, an attempt to revitalize another Tom Cruise franchise.
Through corporate partnerships with CBS and Sumner Redstone's National Amusements, Paramount also works on franchises like Star Trek, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All of those at least theoretically have new movies somewhere in the development process now.
Here's the official synopsis for the original film: "Obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice, FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tracks down Troy, who has boarded a plane in Los Angeles. After the plane crashes and Troy is severely injured, possibly dead, Archer undergoes surgery to remove his face and replace it with Troy's. As Archer tries to use his disguise to elicit information about a bomb from Troy's brother, Troy awakes from a coma and forces the doctor who performed the surgery to give him Archer's face."
Face/Off came at the tail end of John Travolta's '90s renaissance, following on the heels of big successes like Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Michael, and Phenomenon. By 2000, with Battlefield Earth, Travolta had segued that success into the sci-fi epic he always dreamed of making, but squandered a lot of the cache he had built up to that point when the movie was a critical and financial failure.
There is no word on who might star in the new version, who will direct, or when to expect it. At this point, the film is more or less just an idea being kicked around between Uziel and producers Neal Moritz and David Permut.