One of the most bizarre action movies of the 1990s (if not of all-time), John Woo’s Face/Off sees Nicolas Cage and John Travolta swap identities and lose their grip on reality. It’s now been reported by Deadline that Paramount Pictures are rebooting the 1997 thriller, with Oren Uziel behind the screenplay, Neal Moritz producing and David Permut executive producing. While there hasn’t been any casting or directing news yet, it’ll be difficult to see anyone topping the performances of Travolta and Cage in the original movie.
For those not in the know, Face/Off sees Travolta’s FBI agent Sean Archer going to remarkable lengths to capture Cage’s Castor Troy, the theatrical criminal who killed his son. For reasons best not explored, Archer takes on the face of Castor to take him down, only for Cage’s character to go steal Archer’s face and insinuate himself into his life. Cue some ridiculously sublime action sequences, doves, and Travolta and Cage trying to outdo the other in chewing the scenery. All great fun, of course.
The $245 million global gross of the original Face/Off is enough to justify Paramount going back to the property some 20 or so years later, after a hoped-for sequel failed to happen. Screenwriter Uziel has a difficult task on his hands to top or even match the gonzo energy of Woo’s original, and a lot will ride on the cast. Given that Uziel’s credits include the poorly received The Cloverfield Paradox, and the troubled upcoming production Sonic the Hedgehog, Paramount are definitely putting a lot of faith in him to bring something new to the original script by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary.
However, producers Moritz and Permut have substantial pedigree in Hollywood, suggesting that Paramount are going to be investing heavily in adapting Face/Off for contemporary audiences. This strategy is certainly in keeping with the revival of 1980s and 1990s hits like Mission: Impossible and Top Gun: Maverick, but raises the question of where a reboot can go in terms of a new cast or tone.
What do you think of a new Face/Off, though, and who should play the leads? As always, let us know in the comments section below and stay tuned for more updates as the project begins to come together.