March 14, 2006


Johnnie To will be directing Chow Yun-fat in the Hollywood remake of John Woo's HARD BOILED?

A sharp-eyed reader forwarded me the link to a story in Apple Daily, Hong Kong's premiere tabloid-style newspaper (think the New York Post in Chinese) that claims Johnnie To will be directing Chow Yun-fat in the Hollywood remake of John Woo's HARD BOILED.

Apparently, the remake rights have been purchased by a US company who signed Chow on to repeat his performance. They then tried to get John Woo on board to direct, but Woo declined saying that he didn't want to remake his own movie. Chow then recommended that they contact Johnnie To who agreed to direct.

Although this is still at the "rumor" stage, apparently both To and Chow confirmed the story to Apple Daily with To saying that the story would be different from the original but that it would still be called HARD-BOILED. An American actor will play the Tony Leung Chiu-wai role. Production will begin in May 2007.

(The original story is here, registration is required)

March 14, 2006 at 10:15 AM in News | Permalink


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jesus h. christ. As if John Woo was not already wildly over-rated you have To -- an infinitely better director, particularly with actors -- remaking this because Americans are too stupid to see any HK movies that are not wuxia or Woo. So To can't get US distribution for Election but he will stoop to this nonsense on the level of the Bewitched movie? Just sad, sad, sad comment on the state of Hollywood and HK. To's Election and The Mission and even PTU are so much more substantial than any of the Woo flicks I've seen which rely on a style that was dated when it was put in motion. Tsui Hark is more talented than Woo too while I'm on my rant.

Posted by: glenn | Mar 14, 2006 11:22:34 AM

Add that to the A BETTER TOMORROW remake in progress starring
"heartthrob Louis Koo and South Korean pop sensation
Rain" http://pdf.sznews.com/szdaily/pdf/200603/0302/s160302.pdf , and soon we'll have enough for a DVD box set.

Posted by: Niraj | Mar 14, 2006 2:51:31 PM

i'm with glenn. though it wouldn't surprise if the prospects of working with mega-mega chow & US-wide release made To all giddy...maybe he'll even sueeze Lum Suet in for background:PP

Posted by: edamame | Mar 14, 2006 7:03:02 PM

This is not good news!

How can Chow act as Tequila at his age? If they have to have a remake why not cast actors of appropriate age. Chow can play the bar owner for instance. It will be a nice touch.

Posted by: eliza bennet | Mar 15, 2006 3:05:45 AM

Did everyone miss the part where it says that "the story would be different from the original"? All this means is that Johnnie To is making a movie with Chow Yun-fat. Which is probably a very good thing.

Posted by: Fred | Mar 15, 2006 7:01:12 AM

Then they shouldn't call it a Hard Boiled remake, no? And they say Chow will play the same role.

If they call it a sequel, then it is understandable.

Posted by: eliza bennet | Mar 15, 2006 7:08:50 AM

… This does not interest me at all; I can’t see any real reason for an Americanised re-make.

As for talent comparisons To, Woo and Hark have very different styles so I don’t think you can compare them, each is great at what they do, although Woo’s US work has been disappointing.

Also a film like Hard Boiled relied heavily on the old school Hong Kong stunt teams, the US guys can’t really match their stuff.

Posted by: Feral Cat | Mar 15, 2006 10:33:41 AM

agreed that To, Tsui Hark and Woo have different styles it's just that for years I wrongly assumed that the majority of HK films were like Woo's and I didn't pay attention. Then I saw A Chinese Ghost Story and was hooked for life. I think the Western media -- unfairly -- for years singled out Woo. And his films over here have not lived up to the hype around him when he "went to the West" or whatever.

Posted by: glenn | Mar 15, 2006 2:28:05 PM

From what I hear it's not a remake but a sequel - no script has been written. Johnnie To and Mr. Chow were talking about doing a movie together again and HB2 was mentioned as a possibility.

Posted by: Mrs. X | Mar 15, 2006 5:25:01 PM

There already IS a Hard Boiled sequel on the way, kinda.
Stranglehold is poised to hit the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC later this year. Chow Yun-Fat will lend his voice and likeness to the videogame sequel to Hard Boiled, with creative input kicked in from John Woo. So far it looks pretty decent, its from the same team that made the PS2/Xbox game Psi-Ops, which is the best game about a psycic secret agent ever made.

While I have no qualms about a HB videogame sequel(heck, even a latter-day sequel), a American remake strikes me as a really bad idea. Hasn't Yun-Fat gotten kicked around enough by Hollywood to be a little bit wary about making anymore American films? Aside from an improbably decent film co-starring Marky Mark(!?), he's got nothing to show for his english language career. If stuff like Bulletproof Monk is the only roles he's being offered, its plainly obvious that the studios don't know how to use him, is he really so eager to go back to be being miscast in lousy films?

This all sounds like a lot of conjecture anyway. The script isn't even close to being done, and the proposed start date is far off enough that any number of things could derail it. I doubt any of this will become more then a minor footnote in To and Chow's careers, at least I hope so, I just discovered Jonnie To recently, and I'd hate for him to go through the mediocracy machine that most foreign filmmakers are forced to go through when they arrive in America.

Posted by: Max K. | Mar 16, 2006 2:49:49 AM

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