With Furious 7 dominating the box office last April and San Andreas off to a promising start this past week, it seems like Dwayne Johnson has all but cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s most bankable action stars. Which makes the news that Johnson is set to star in a Big Trouble in Little China remake somewhat surprising, if not inspired. While the 1980s cult film, directed by the celebrated John Carpenter (Halloween), has garnered a loyal and fervent fanbase over the years, it still remains an eccentric action film, filled with oddities and a campiness that Johnson has largely avoided throughout his career.
For Johnson, who pitched the Little China remake to Fox with co-producers Dany and Hiram Garcia, the news is somewhat refreshing for fans of his who have criticized the actor for playing it safe despite his talents. Just a quick glance over the actor’s last few projects—San Andreas, Furious 7, Hercules, Fast & Furious 6, Pain & Gain—reinforces the narrative that the actor largely gravitates toward standard action fare. Even his upcoming television project, Ballers, seems notably formulaic and by-the-numbers for an HBO show. A Big Trouble in Little China remake, while certainly not a risk (considering the original’s cult popularity), is still a project a little more off-center for an actor who usually keeps to his comfort zone and whose last great departure was the maligned Southland Tales back in 2006.
Big Trouble in Little China tells the story of a trucker who gets involved in a mystical, ancient battle in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It originally starred Kurt Russell (Death Proof) and Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City). The script for the remake will be written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who both penned X-Men: First Class. No director is attached to the project yet.
A Little China remake would be one of a long line of remakes of Carpenter films, following Halloween, The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13, and The Thing.