Add Big Trouble in Little China to the list of John Carpenter films getting the remake treatment. Halloween, The Fog, and Assault on Precinct 13 all received remakes, The Thing was a prequel/remake, and a remake of Escape from New York is in active development. All of the originals hold up, but I’m willing to entertain the possibility of a successful Big Trouble in Little China remake if Dwayne Johnson is on board.
According to The Wrap, Johnson is in talks to star in and produce the Big Trouble in Little China remake. X-Men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz will write the script, which will have Johnson taking on the role of Jack Burton, “an All-American trucker who gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in San Francisco’s Chinatown.”
A remake of Big Trouble in Little China will be a tricky balancing act. It’s a movie that’s unafraid of being weird, and yet it also perfectly weaves in pulp storytelling. While no one will mistake Dwayne Johnson for Kurt Russell, I can see Johnson, who’s a fan of the original, taking on some Burton’s personality traits while still putting his own stamp on the character. Jack Burton is a memorable role in Russell’s filmography, but he’s not Snake Plissken.
If Big Trouble in Little China ends up moving forward with Johnson, the other half of the equation will be the director. The lackluster remakes of Carpenter’s work shows that his direction isn’t easily emulated or reinvented, so hopefully 20th Century Fox hires someone who understands what made the original work so well.
As for Johnson, he’s been keeping busy, and is coming off his biggest, non-Fast & Furious hit with San Andreas taking in $54 million domestically this past weekend. He’ll next be seen on HBO’s upcoming series Ballers and he’s also signed on to play the villainous Black Adam in the DC superhero movie Shazam as well as lend his voice to Disney’s animated film, Moana.
Here’s the trailer for the original Big Trouble in Little China: