With his earthquake pic San Andreas making sizable waves at the box office and his HBO series Ballers just weeks away, Dwayne Johnson is riding higher than ever in Hollywood. Six days back, the actor signed on for a very unexpected project in a remake of John Carpenter’s cult classic Big Trouble in Little China, and now he has spoken at greater length about the redo, voicing his desire to get the original director involved while also addressing the divisive reaction from fans.
Speaking with EW at the Spike TV Guys Choice Awards, Johnson acknowledged that some weren’t too happy with the idea of pulling out Carpenter’s 1986 film for a modern update, but he said:
“I loved reading the reactions from the fans, that they were so polarized – I’m the same way. My response is: know that I come to the project with nothing but love and respect for the original, which is why we want to bring on John Carpenter.”
Involving Carpenter was a point that hadn’t come up before when the remake was discussed, and though it’s unlikely that the legendary helmer would want to direct, he could easily work on the script (which X-Men: First Class scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are attached to write) or produce. Said Johnson, who will fill the lead role originated by Kurt Russell:
“I loved the original when I was younger and I loved the main character – all the characters. It felt like if we surrounded ourselves with the right group of people, the right writers who loved the movie too and wanted to honor it, bring on John Carpenter in some capacity … If we did that, then we have a shot at hopefully making something good.”
Luckily, Johnson is going into the project with his head screwed on right. Fans of the original will relieved that The Rock isn’t so committed to making the reboot that he would do so at the risk of besmirching the original’s good name. In his own words:
“Let’s see what feels good, what we can come up with and then go from there. And as we write it, if the whole thing starts to stink up, then we thank everybody for their efforts and accept this just couldn’t make it.”
Big Trouble in Little China was far from a box office hit when it was first released, but it’s developed a reputation as a cult classic in recent years. The original’s mix of all-American heroism and Chinese mysticism may be difficult to pull off in modern times, so it’s great to hear that Johnson isn’t going to do wrong by one of his favorite films if this new take doesn’t shape up like he wants it to.
Tell us, do you want to see him succeed, or should the original be left alone?