John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China is a living embodiment of the cult classic, an ambitious misfire that left critics confused when it arrived in 1986 and bombed hard at the box office by earning just $11 million, but it’s reputation has only grown over time to ensure a status as an enduring favorite.
Trying to describe the action comedy sci-fi fantasy horror martial arts adventure to somebody that hasn’t seen it is definitely tricky, especially when all of those elements are thrown together into one glorious melting pot of practical effects, breakneck action, solid set pieces and one of Kurt Russell’s best-ever performances as the endlessly charismatic Jack Burton.
If Carpenter and Russell aren’t involved, then a huge number of fans have no interest in a sequel, but that didn’t stop Dwayne Johnson from signaling his intentions to reboot Big Trouble in Little China back in 2015. We didn’t hear much more for another three years, until it was confirmed the project wasn’t a remake but a continuation, and now a further three years down the line producer Hiram Garcia has revealed it remains in development.
“It’s still an ambition of ours but unfortunately there are complications that come with a legacy property like that which has so much attached to it from over the years. We have a really fun idea on what we’d want to do with it, especially since our goal was never to remake Big Trouble but simply continue it. Similar to what we did with Jumanji we would continue the story and make sure the original stands on it’s own since it means so much to us and fans all around the world. So needless to say we are still working on making that happen but as with any great project the road is not easy but we are sticking to it! We’re going to figure out a way to continue the story of Big Trouble in Little China.”
The Jumanji comparison is an interesting one to make, because plenty of folks weren’t sold on the idea of Dwayne Johnson stepping in to reinvent a beloved Robin Williams family film, only for Welcome to the Jungle to deliver a massively entertaining blockbuster adventure, one that hauled in close to a billion dollars at the box office, with audiences turning out in their droves for the sequel as well.
Do we need a new spin on Big Trouble in Little China? Of course not, but if we get one, at least it won’t be a straightforward rehash.