Usually, I'm not blindsided by movie news that is relevant to my interests. But this one got me. Evidently, there is a remake of director John Woo's 1989 ballet of bullets masterpiece The Killer in the works over at Universal. With Woo working behind the scenes. It was all set to star Black Panther and Us actress Lupita Nyong'o - and I had no idea this was happening. But I guess in the end it doesn't matter much as today we have an update from Woo himself letting us know that Nyong'o has dropped out of the lead role.
The Legendary director behind amazing action films such as Broken Arrow and Face/Off shared the unfortunate update regarding Nyong'o leaving the planned Killer remake in development since 2007, while receiving something called the Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Specifically, he revealed.
"There was a scheduling problem because she's so popular right now! We rewrote the script and it took so much time... she had to leave for another project."
Bummer. I mean I have to say, as one of those movie geeks out there that think of The Killer as one of the great masterpieces of cinema, if it was going to get the remake treatment, switching up the gender roles would have been a - no pun intended - killer way to bring the classic back to the big screen. Oh, wait. It's all good. Yes, even though the planned Universal remake has lost Lupita Nyong'o, Woo says that he still has every intention of continuing on with the remake and finding an all-new female cast to take the lead. Woo says this.
"The biggest reason why I wanted to do this movie again because [I wanted] 'the killer' to be a woman - that's exciting to me. It will make the movie have a different look."
But this won't be just any female action hero role, John Woo explains. Evidently, the master filmmaker feels that - get this - many of cinema's female action stars are missing "soul" from their performances. Careful there, Woo. He then went on to say that it is his intention with this remake to "create a complex female action star that just doesn't just fight well" but brings "a prominent element of emotion and humanity to the role." Again, tread carefully there, Woo. Some people might think you're talking smack about Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley, or Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor.
But moving on, quickly, Woo says he won't have to look for a female action star to replace Nyong'o as he originally cast the 12 Years a Slave actress in the remake because of her acting capability. And Woo says his remake doesn't need an action star because he has the gift of making any actor "look like an action star," which is true. Chow-Yun Fat was a soap opera star before Woo got a hold of him. Special note: John Woo's The Killer celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Meanwhile, this update comes to us from Deadline.