“Big Trouble in Little China” is a John Carpenter anomaly. A cult classic to some, nonsensical cultural appropriation to others, it largely falls into the category of required genre viewing. Starring Kurt Russell as truck driver Jack Burton who finds himself caught up in a surface-to-underground conflict under San Francisco’s Chinatown, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been looking to revive the 1986 film. The cast and director have some opinions on this.
Actor James Hong, who starred as the unforgettable Chinese prince and crime king Lo Pan, has a thought or two about a remake. “Well, I think they should leave the classic alone,” Hong said. “However, I’d like to reappear in the new one and do something spiritually, like Star Wars where the characters come back and do a reprieve of some kind.”
Sounds like he’d rather they didn’t, but if they MUST, he’d like to be included. A fair take given Lo Pan is the central villain, and nostalgic callbacks are part and parcel to most revivals these days. Hong’s words are far gentler than writer/director/composer John Carpenter’s, though.
“”They want a movie with Dwayne Johnson. That’s what they want,” Carpenter said. “So they just picked that title…They don’t give a sh*t about me and my movie. That movie wasn’t a success.” Obviously the Master of Horror is less than pleased this film was being considered for a reboot.
Kurt Russell was significantly more optimistic when probed about the prospect. While he hasn’t been asked to be involved in the revival, having worked with Johnson on a few occasions has given him a more enthusiastic opinion. “”He’s just a really good guy…I like working with him and if he’s going to do it, he and his crew will hopefully be able to come up with something that I guess makes the title work.”
Not a Remake
Seven Bucks producer Hiram Garcia wanted to make a few things clear, having provided an update on the project in 2021. The first of which being this would NOT be an attempt to remake John Carpenter’s original film, but a new story within the same universe. A continuation of sorts. Of course, that comes with its own difficulties on the legal side of things. Obtaining the rights to a prolific property comes with a lot of attachments. Regardless, Garcia and company are making their best efforts to find a way. “We are still working on making that happen but as with any great project the road is not easy but we are sticking to it!”
Johnson has toyed with the idea of a remake since 2015, with “Thor,” “X-Men: First Class” writers Ashley Edward Millar and Zack Stentz attached to pen the script. But there’s been little intel as to whether it will ever come to fruition.
Whether we’ll see a new “Big Trouble” movie in the next few years remains to be seen, but those involved seem firm in their belief that it can happen and will. Potentially featuring a cameo by James Hong and others. We’ll have to keep our eyes and ears open for the future.
You can currently stream “Big Trouble in Little China” on Amazon Prime Video.