The pillars of Heaven were shaken a bit recently with the announcement that Kurt Russell's FURIOUS 7 co-star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would be filling the boots of one of Russell's most popular characters, John Wayne-esque truck driver Jack Burton, in a remake of John Carpenter's 1986 supernatural action/adventure film BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.
While many fans were outraged, Carpenter himself reacted the way you'd expect him to, with an implied shrug and a "No harm, no foul."
At the Saturday night taping of Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards, Entertainment Weekly managed to talk to Johnson and get some quotes from him about the project. Assuring EW that he's coming to BIG TROUBLE with nothing but love and respect, Johnson said,
"I loved the original when I was younger and I loved the main character – all the characters. It felt like if we surrounded ourselves with the right group of people, the right writers who loved the movie too and wanted to honor it, bring on John Carpenter in some capacity ... If we did that, then we have a shot at hopefully making something good."
It wasn't specified what sort of role Carpenter might play in the production, as the remake is in very early stages of development, but the director isn't the only one from the '86 film that Johnson would like to see involved - he said there would be talks with Kurt Russell about it, too.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are currently working on the script for the new take on BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, and Johnson expressed a perfect willingness to drop the idea if it starts to look like it won't live up to its predecessor.
"...if the whole thing starts to stink up, then we thank everybody for their efforts and accept this just couldn’t make it."
While I'm not exactly hyped to see a new version of BIG TROUBLE, my days of being bothered by news of remakes are years behind me at this point. There have been so many remakes done of movies I love in the last fifteen years, I was beaten into submission. If a remake's good, I have another good movie to watch, and if it's bad, it just doesn't matter.
There is certainly plenty to work with in BIG TROUBLE to make another entertaining movie out of, and just the fact that Johnson is in the lead should make this one a very different sort of viewing experience.