A ton of confusion reigned when director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett were announced as the creative team that would bring Paramount’s Face/Off back to life. Ultimately, it would be clarified that what was actually happening was that Face/Off was getting an R-rated sequel, rather than the reboot a lot of people were expecting to happen. According to Barrett himself, a remake of John Woo’s film was never even in the cards under their watch.
Speaking on behalf of his recent film Seance, Simon Barrett told the Overdue Rentals podcast a story about how he and his frequent partner Adam Wingard landed the Face/Off gig in the first place. Part of tale cleared the air, with Barrett stating that while a reboot may have been part of the overall history of past attempts, the Wingard/Barrett plan was always to make a direct sequel. That makes sense when you read these details about the road that led to the gig itself:
Most may have thought that the Face/Off project was a direct result of Adam Wingard’s success with Godzilla vs. Kong. As that news landed earlier this year, shortly before the press gears were whirring on the latest MonsterVerse entry, that assumption was probably based on the positive buzz the film was already receiving. However, it was actually the dogged determination of diehard fans like Wingard and Simon Barrett that made all the difference.
Even more interesting is the fact that Simon Barrett chalks up another film that he and Adam Wingard had made together as helping put Face/Off 2 into the works. In fact, fans of The Guest were almost assuredly the first people to come around to a Wingard/Barrett continuation of Face/Off, as the 2014 Dan Stevens thriller pays tribute to one specific plot point in the John Travolta/Nicolas Cage action classic. It's all thanks to one particularly handy weapon:
Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard are heading into Face/Off 2, or whatever the film will be called, with great confidence. Their familiarity with the source material, as well as the intent to continue doing what made John Woo’s original film so wonderful, are sure signs that no matter what happens next, the project looks to be in the best hands possible. Which, frankly, only makes the mystery surrounding how the pitch could possibly work in the first place all the more unbearable.
Simon Barrett’s Seance is currently available for rental on VOD, with a streaming premiere set to hit Shudder later on in the year. Meanwhile, you can see Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which is currently still in its theatrical run. And if you need to brush up on The Guest, you can head over to Netflix and see Dan Stevens kick ass in a very un-Downton Abbey manner.
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