Usually, when someone achieves a respectable accomplishment, the next thing they want to do is celebrate. Maybe they’ll go to Disneyland. But Adam Wingard, the man behind the highly-anticipated Godzilla vs. Kong, seems to have other plans. Apparently, weird stuff happens when Disneyland is closed.
Paramount has just brought in Wingard to helm a sequel to the over-the-top 1997 action thriller Face/Off. He will be joined by writer Simon Barrett, whom he had previously worked with on 2016’s Blair Witch and 2011’s You’re Next, both of which Wingard directed. Neal Moritz of the Fast and Furious franchise will produce the film.
Originally planned as a remake, the recent news of Wingard joining the team was accompanied by the announcement that the new film will, in fact, be a full-on sequel. However, Deadline reports the leads will supposedly be recast. 22 Jump Street writer Oren Uziel was initially attached to pen the script, but Barrett has apparently stepped in since then, which may not be surprising given his history with Wingard.
The original Face/Off starred John Travolta and Nicolas Cage as an FBI agent and terrorist, respectively, in an adrenaline-fueled adventure that ultimately results in the two men literally switching faces. Directed by John Woo, whose rather eccentric and chaotic style of filming lent itself well to such a premise, the film did well and gained a cult following, becoming Woo’s most successful U.S. movie. Woo’s stylized directing and Cage’s energetic performance, complemented by Travolta’s equally praised work, turned Face/Off into a unique (and maybe a bit campy) experience that audiences haven’t seen much of since those days.
Much of Face/Off‘s popularity came from the scene-chewingly bombastic performances by Cage and Travolta, as the two were basically mortal enemies due to Cage’s character Castor Troy previously killing Sean Archer’s (Travolta) son. This sort of charmingly hammy action film hasn’t been seen much since the ’90s, so fans of the “genre” will likely jump at the chance to see something new in, presumably, the same style. While Woo won’t be returning to direct, perhaps Wingard will take inspiration from the filmmaking legend and create something that passionate fans will consider a worthy successor.
Face/Off may be seen as a flash in the pan, where even attempting to replicate its energy simply can’t be done. It’s easy to see why some may think that way, given the general lack of similarly “silly” films in current times. However, there’s always the chance, as possibly proven by Cage himself starring in his own equally absurd-sounding film Willy’s Wonderland. Besides, even if it doesn’t turn out how fans would prefer, the original will always be there to charm audiences young and old.
Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be released in theaters and on HBO Max on March 31, 2021.