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Face/Off's John Woo Is Making His First US Action Movie In Almost Two Decades

John Travolta Nicolas Cage Face/Off trailer screenshot
(Image credit: Paramount)

For more than four decades, John Woo has been one of cinema’s most prolific and celebrated directors. In recent years, his film work has been concentrated in his native country of China. Now Woo is set to make his return to the American film scene, which includes 1997's Face/Off. Specifically, he'll be helming his first stateside action flick in nearly two decades.

According to Deadline, John Woo is jumping back into the action genre with Silent Night. This will mark the first U.S. film he’s directed since the Ben Affleck-headlined film Paycheck in 2003. To sweeten the deal more, The Suicide Squad’s Joel Kinnaman will serve as the protagonist in the anticipated action film. The plot will focus on a father seeking to avenge the death of his son. A source close to the project reveals the film will center more on action sequences and less on dialogue. In addition to Kinnaman, casting for other roles in the film is currently underway.

For his first American film in almost 20 years, John Woo has some major push from some Hollywood bigwigs. The production team behind the John Wick franchise will produce Silent Night, including Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christian Mercuri and Lori Tilkin. The overall production will be overseen by Capstone’s Ruzanna Kegeyan and Joe Gatta. With Kegeyan and Gatta on board, there are negotiations for Capstone to finance Woo’s U.S. cinema return.

With everything set in motion, Hollywood seems excited about John Woo’s action return. And the timing of his Hollywood return could’ve come at a better time as the audience’s interest in Face/Off is revved up again. This enthusiasm can be traced back to the upcoming Face/Off sequel. That will be helmed by Godzilla Vs. King’s Adam Wingard, who clarified that this will not be a full-blown reboot. His experience making the MonsterVerse flick will help inform his take on the action revival. To make things even better, Wingard has toyed with the idea of reviving Nicolas Cage’s character. Fans even pitched mortal frenemies Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman to fill Cage and John Travolta’s roles. Hopefully John Woo will be a part of the reimagining in some way.

When released in 1997, Face/Off served as a follow-up to John Woo’s hit 1996 thriller Broken Arrow. It received positive reviews and made over $245 million at the box office. The film’s success further cemented Woo’s growing prominence in the U.S. film market in the 1990s. Maybe Silent Night will be as successful for the prolific filmmaker as the 1997 film. 

There’s currently no release date set for the action film with the production start date up in the air. Hopefully viewers will hear more about the film in the coming weeks.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).