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An English Language, 3D Remake Of THE KILLER Is On The Way...Produced By John Woo!!

Merrick here...

John Woo is producing a 3D, English language remake of the astonishing 1989 ultra-violent  jamboree THE KILLER, which he directed.  A remake of this film has been in the wind for some time, and has been mulled/proposed in various forms.  Seems pre-destined to happen, it was merely a matter of what from it would take. While I'm not feeling any need, whatsoever, for  remake of this amazing material, I'm vaguely comforted by Woo's shepherding of the show.

The original starred the mighty Chow Yun-Fat as an assassin struggling to pay for a singer's expensive vision restoration by undertaking one final hit.  This time around, Jung Woo-Sung (THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE WEIRD) will take the part in a picture that'll be produced by Woo and longtime cohort Terence Chang.  John H. Lee (ONEDAY, A MOMENT TO REMEMBER) will direct.  

A press release went out about this project, although not everyone seems to have received it.  As such, the below snippets are cribbed from THIS posting over at Deadline...


Producer John Woo said: “While all my films are special to me, THE KILLER is truly one of my favorites. We are thrilled to reinvent it as an English-language film and know it’s in capable hands by the incredible visual style and tender emotion John H. Lee brings to all his films.”


Set in present day, an elite Asian assassin risks everything to protect a beautiful singer that he unintentionally blinded, but can only do so with the help of an LAPD detective who is trying to catch him.

The final 9 or so minutes of Woo's 1989 film have been slapped crudely onto YouTube.  If you've never seen the picture and may be interested in doing so, I'd advise not letting this embed be your first exposure to the movie - consider renting it via Netflix, or looking into THIS DVD or Blu-Ray instead.   If, however, you're looking for a refresher...or don't care about spoilers and just wanna get a sense of what the hell I'm talking about...


— follow Merrick on Twitter ! ---

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Just what I needed

    by justmyluck

    Another remake in 3D. Woo's productionventure into Anime with APPLESEED:EX-MACHINA was mixed...hope he does better with this.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Jesus Fucking Christ, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Okay, a bit melodramatic, but come on... John, how could you?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST


    by Dr. Samuel Loomis

    lol u mad

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    I should add (related)...

    by justmyluck seems Woo recently exec-produced a remake of his A BETTER TOMORROW, which has a 4.7/10 rating (currently 35 votes!) on IMDB:

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    A question for superfans of "Teh Killer"

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Late in the film, there's a moment that "borrows" a short instrumental snippet from the end of a Devo song, I believe from the "Oh, No, It's Devo!" album. Am I crazy, or did anyone else pick that up?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Hard Boiled....

    by DellsDontBounce

    Is my FAVORITE John Woo/Chow Yun-Fat movie... The climax at the hospital beats anything that the Die Hard movies tried to do...

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:13 a.m. CST

    You are so fucking right dellsdontbounce

    by masteryoda007

    The "one-take" scene were they fight their way to the elevator is every kind of awesome. The Killer and Hard Boiled are 2 of the best actions movies ever made full-stop. Yun-Fat is God.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    WTF? Has the creative well-spring dried up?

    by Sumatran_Rat_Monkey badly that Hollywood can no longer crap out video game franchise movies, comic books hero flicks, and converting popular 80's TV series into big screen bombs that it has to focus on remaking foreign classics now (and driving them into the ground as they have the aforementioned "gold mines")? Where do I line up to partake in the watered down retooling of a film for the sole purpose of repackaging to suck more cash from American audiences. Oooh, maybe they can add lots of bullet-time slow motion, tons of CGI blood FX, and do a horrible post production 3D conversion to really rake in the cash! Can we add a politically correct version of Hard Boiled to the list of remakes as well? We can replace the baby in Chow Yun-Fat’s arms as he bails out the hospital window with a talking dog named “Mr. Chips” and make Tony Leung’s character female to add some sexual tension! It could be Fat's Ex-wife or something equally ridiculous! Must…stop….bashing…… (leaves soap box now, before my head explodes.)

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST


    by theycallmemrtibbs

    Well put, I have been saying that for years about Hard Boiled..... My favorite Chow Yun Fat JOHN WOO FLICK.... Some of the craziest gun battles I have ever seen on film.The opening and ending scenes were massive. <p> I remember a few years back when Denzel and Tom Hanks (I think) was attached to doing an American version of Killers, I'm curious how this one turns out. <p> They tried the same concept with Shoot 'em up and unfortunately it just came off stupid.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:06 p.m. CST

    KILLER does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    I'm all for this... we don't get enough true blue action movies these days so i'll take a remake over none at all.<p> Also as great as the action is in THE KILLER you have to admit it's a bit schmaltzy in that melodramatic Asian way with the blinded girl.<p> Woo's made some very cool 'shoot em up' movies but my fave remains his period epic RED CLIFF.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST


    by moviemaniac-7

    John Woo shepherding this project is the one good thing, but the damn movie is a classic. Why tamper with it? From time to time I have this John Woo-when-he-was-awesome night: The Killer, A Better Tomorrow, Bullet in the Head and Hard Boiled back to back. There is no such thing as Too Much in these matters. But a 3D remake might be just that.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST

    cobra--kai: that seals it... I've got to see Red Cliff...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Also, I kind of love the Woo schmaltz... it's part of his distinctive charm. So many bromantic gazes, too. Awesome stuff.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    THE KILLER is one of my top 10...

    by impetus

    ...movies of all time, and Woo's best. I hope can they do it justice. Woo's western remake of Once A Thief was pretty forgettable, but the original wasn't one of his best either so it's not a fair comparison. No question the final shootout of The Killer would be amazing in 3-D. As far as Woo's films go, I think the A Better Tomorrow series is a better remake contender. They're among Woo's strongest and most beautiful stories but lacking in the technical proficiency of The Killer or Hard Boiled.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Save my corneas for Jenny!

    by DirkD13"

    Best. Line. Ever.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Dammit really?

    by macheesmo3

    WTF? Can't Woo just make a new original action film in english? Why does everything have to be a fucking remake? I won't be going.... I'm on a boycott remakes kick...

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST


    by Fortunesfool

    The only really memorable thing about The Killer is the John Woo stylistics which were unlike anything else we'd seen at the time. Take that away and you just have a mediocre, and slightly silly, action movie, and there are quite enough of them around.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    edit, yes RED CLIFF + chinese takeaway + red wine = a great movie night.<p> It's the highest budget movie ever made in China and also the highest grossing. Every frame is a thing of beauty, and the battle scenes make the likes of TROY and LOTR seem low key.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Re: "...the battle scenes make the likes of TROY and LOTR seem low key."

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Fuck. me. Parts 1 and 2 just added to the Netflix queue.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST


    by Alec.Eiffel

    An American action film starring Jung Woo-Sung, produced by John Woo and Terence Chang sounds exciting to me. Too bad it's a remake, I'd rather it was just a ripoff.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    the most uncool news

    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

    iv'e heard today. fuck.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Why not?

    by Talandir

    America has remade foreign films for the last century. Some of them have actually been pretty good. Okay, most have been crap; but not all. And the simple fact remains that the vast majority of the American movie-going audience will not go to see foreign language films.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:47 p.m. CST

    What ever happened to the Enter the Dragon remake?

    by HellKing

    That was suppose to be Korean reincarnation too.

  • haha, it's a lot of fun watching movies from that period using a laser disc player. This film is absolutely fantastic. it's definitely my favorite, over Hardboiled. I don't like this news, but whatever.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I have my doubts...

    by Sithtastic

    I don't know what it is, but I think the original Killer shouls be left alone. If it is to be remade, all the whizbang 3D technology should take a backseat to the hitman character's contradictions (hopefully to be reprised by Chow Yun Fat aka God). Although the cynical side of me wants to just call the Killer HK exploitation, I can't simply dismiss it and it's rare in a way that I feel a re-make will not replicate.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 7:27 p.m. CST

    I'm all for remakes but just don't .

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 7:48 p.m. CST

    enter the dragon remake needs to cgi bruce lee tron style

    by ORIONgods

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:15 p.m. CST


    by Chip

    someone feels the need to remake perfectly good foreign films like this and others (Leon, REC, etc.) is beyond me.

  • gotta love travolta. and his death goes down in the books as one of the best. awesome, painful, graphic and appropriate for the character. and his insane smile when he realizes he's a gonna and accepts it. and of course the absurd dummy affects used. incredible. plus howie long's AAAH Real Monsters scream when he gets booted from the train

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST

    John H. Lee & Jung Woo-Sung have the right stuff!

    by Barry_Woodward

    If someone else was directing it I might be worried but John H. Lee is a great director and Jung Woo-Sung (who played the lead in Lee's “A Moment To Remember”) is a fantastic actor. Everyone with a region-free DVD player should get their hands on the Andrew Lau (director of "Infernal Affairs") film "Daisy" (make sure it's the 125 minute director's cut and not the mutilated 110 minute theatrical version) to see Jung Woo-Sung play a similar hitman with a conscience role. I think we're in good hands.

  • I mean wasn't all this pretty much announced before except for the 3D part. I had wondered what happened to this movie. Well at least its not the original remake plans years ago with Keanu Reeves. Anyone remember that? I cant remember tho who was suppose to be the frontliner to direct. Well even tho this movie is going to be looks like it will be made outside of the Hollywood system? Or am I reading it wrong.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 3:35 a.m. CST

    Woo has sold out proper this time

    by Seth Gecko

    Woo has lost the plot. Selling out one of his masterpieces for money is disgusting. The Killer, Bullet In The Head and Hard Boiled are the 3 greatest action films ever to come out of Hong Kong. That is no small feat when you consider Tsui Hark's output. The Once Upon a Time In China trilogy to start with. Woo's should never have left Hong Kong as that is where his genius resides. In the USA he is a hack.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Ashton Kutcher in 3D???????

    by MamboMan


  • Feb. 2, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    remember when this movie was called...

    by BikerZero

    le samurai???? actually it never was but definitely a remake of the artsyer french flick by would this count as remake number #3 of this french noir film??? the remakes have been john woo's the killer and jarmusch's ghost dog. anyway making this fucker is totally unneccesary...making it 3-D is stupid beyond belief.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    What's funny is Stranglehold is being made into a Movie.

    by Stalkeye

    A movie based on a videogame based on a Movie. As Yourstepdaddy would say, WTFuckers?!? That being said, I loved Hard Boiled and feel that it's Woo best film.Fucking better action scenes than most American Crime Dramas.

  • Feb. 3, 2011, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Featuring music from RED HEAT.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Am I the only one who always wondered how they could use the original RED HEAT score? Anyway, a remake won't work EXCEPT if you keep the level of violence. Which they won't do. There's no way in hell the remake will feature this level of action, blood and shootouts.