John Woo Is Remaking The Killer, And It's Already Found Its First Star

Black Panther Lupita Nyong'o Nakia about to enter the casino in Seoul

Remakes are an interesting enough exercise when you're taking the work of a director like John Woo and revisiting it in a modern context. What's even more interesting is when said remake not only turns into a gender-swapped vehicle, but is also being directed by the person who originated the project in the first place. Case in point is John Woo's remake of his 1989 classic The Killer, which is in negotiations to snag Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o as its lead.

Originated by director Woo, and starring frequent collaborator Chow Yun-fat, the original version of The Killer told the story of an assassin protecting the life of an innocent bystander after accidentally blinding them during a botched hit. The new version of the film already has a script underway, with the original draft written by 10 Cloverfield Lane's Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken, and Collide's Eran Creevy being brought on for writing duties afterwards. A new draft is being started by Brian Helgeland of L.A. Confidential fame, which will be the one that carries the film into production. The project is set up at Universal Pictures, and is set to film later this year, according to Deadline.

With the writing talent that's been attracted to The Killer, the more modern remake already looks like it'll be as much of a hard boiled action thriller as John Woo's original was back in the day. Plus, having Lupita Nyong'o entering the fray in the capacity of a front-and-center action lead is something to be excited about, as her range has already landed her some noteworthy roles. Not only were her chops rewarded with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in 12 Years A Slave, she was also recently seen in the Star Wars franchise as eccentric cantina owner Maz Kanata, and as a co-lead in Marvel's Black Panther.

The Killer will offer Nyong'o an opportunity to hone the skills she's shown off previously in a brand new, bad-assed way, as she'll be able to use the experience with stunt work and dramatic acting in tandem to create the role of the film's titular assassin. Not to mention that John Woo will have the opportunity few directors are given -- to revisit a previous work in a new and exciting fashion. Seeing two professionals such as Nyong'o and Woo forming an alliance such as the one that'll bring The Killer to theaters is one that should yield a film that'll be a must-see story indeed.

With a production window starting towards the end of this year, and no release date set just yet, it wouldn't be a surprise to see this film finished in time for a late summer/early fall debut in 2019. Don't let that keep you from the movies though, as there are plenty of options through 2018's release schedule that'll keep you entertained throughout the current year.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.