It’s a bit early to consider this a "go" picture, but Terence Chang is talking about remaking The Killer again*, this time as a Korean-American hybrid set in Los Angeles’ bustling, hipster-infested K-Town . If this means lots of disaffected twentysomethings will get cut down in the crossfire, count me way the fuck in.
Though A Better Tomorrow and Hard-Boiled were plenty influential in their own right, it’s The Killer that really left its imprint on the way action films are shot in America (and the rest of the world, really). So, aside from brand-name recognition, there’s no urgent need to revisit the already derivative plot of Woo’s original, which was a deeply personal patchwork of incident stitched together from the director’s favorite Hollywood melodramas, westerns and whatever else turned him on.
Interestingly, Chang has tapped John H. Lee, the director of the popular Korean sudser A Moment to Remember (aka A Movie Jeremy Will Never See), to reinterpret Woo’s action tragedy. Perhaps Chang figures the only way to distinguish this new version from the iconic classic is to slather on the sentimentality. Or maybe he just likes the fact that A Moment to Remember made a buttload of money in Asia.
Since I will never see A Moment to Remember, I’ve really nothing to go on with Lee (an Indonesian IMDb user comments, "I’m Not So Impress but It’s a Good Movie"). According to his bio, Lee packs his films with "top-notch Cosmopolitan sensibilities", which is troubling seeing as how I prefer my action remakes to sport "low-rent Neapolitan sensibilities". But you make do.
Chang defends his hiring of Lee thusly: "In John’s original version, it doesn’t really matter where the film is set, except that Hong Kong has this dragon boat festival which adds a bit of local flavor. In this remake, we will use the geography of L.A. to move the story forward." The Hollywood Reporter adds that the story will stretch into Chinatown and South Central. I sure hope they drop in on Glenn Plummer!
*Walter Hill nearly gave it a go in the early 90s with Richard Gere and Denzel Washington.