John Woo’s 1997 hit Face/Off was a stylized action blockbuster with an absurd premise that was perfectly paired with performances from John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. An FBI agent (Travolta) surgically traded faces with a psychotic killer (Cage) so that he could discover the location of a bomb that could cause massive devastation.
The film was a commercial success, and since studios are high on getting remakes and reboots into theaters, it should come as no surprise that there are reports that Paramount is now developing a remake. More on the report below.
Deadline says Paramount has hired Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, Sonic the Hedgehog) to write the screenplay for the Face/Off remake, with Neal Moritz (The Fast and the Furious) producing. Original Face/Off producer David Permut is also being brought in as an executive producer.
No doubt the identity swap idea has been thrown around in film multiple times, but none have been as crazy as Face/Off, where two characters literally exchange faces and identities. As such, the actors will have to become their adversaries, adopting all the personalities and quirks that come with the person they are impersonating. Face/Off was Woo’s biggest original hit with a $245 million global gross.
Face/Off was very much a product of the ’90s blockbuster, with the highly stylized action, slow-motion moving cameras, Woo’s signature use of doves flying in the air in the midst of battle. Combine that with Travolta and Cage being among the top actors at the time, and you’ve got a perfect summer movie.
It remains to be seen if there is a need for such a film. Remake announcements seem to come and go. For one thing, there is no director formally attached to the project. The move allows Paramount to use its library to its full extent, much like how they are doing with the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek film franchises. And as crazy as it sounds, there was no sequel or follow-up to Woo’s film, so it makes sense that the studio would look into remaking it.
But if you want something that barely resembles a sequel, you can look back at the Funny Or Die parody trailer that combines the promise of a Rush Hour 4 with Face/Off 2, and blends them together for one hilarious bit.