Andrew Dominik's first gig writing for another director is…something of a surprise.
The KILLING THEM SOFTLY and ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD director is scripting a remake of the classic Hong Kong film THE SHAOLIN TEMPLE for Justin Lin to direct. And it's in 3D.
The original starred a teenaged Jet Li (in his first role) as Jue Yuan, a newly-minted Shaolin monk who takes on a murderous warlord. It's a traditional story in China, and the remake is expected to follow the same general trajectory (no 47 RONIN/300-style supernatural nonsense here). It's a Chinese co-production, and will be shot there after Lin finishes his BOURNE LEGACY sequel.
I know it has its detractors, but I thought Keanu's MAN OF TAI CHI showed that it's possible to make an English-language kung fu film with weight in front of (and behind) the camera, and still retain that native Chinese feel so signature and crucial to HK cinema. Dominik and Lin are both gifted, intelligent guys who are adept at portraying toughness and action on film in ways that are untraditional and striking. Them collaborating on anything would be cause for celebration, but a throwback to the Chinese kung fu epics of old seems like more than we could've hoped for.
So there are now remakes of both SHAOLIN TEMPLE and KICKBOXER in development that actually sound really, really exciting. Go figure.
The question is: who could Lin possibly task to fill the shoes of in-his-prime Jet Li?!!