New Red Circle crew

We know that the style of Hong Kong mayhem maestro John Woo was heavily influenced by French New Wave cinema, particularly Jean-Pierre Melville (Woo's action masterpiece THE KILLER is essentially a variation of the excellent 1967 Melville film LE SAMOURAI). Woo had long planned to helm a remake of Melville's classic heist film LE CERCLE ROUGE (aka THE RED CIRCLE), but got busy with his war epic THE RED CLIFF and handed it off to throne heir Johnnie To.

Now it sounds as though To is gearing up for his English-language debut, and is assembling an impressive cast. Chow Yun-Fat, Liam Neeson and Orlando Bloom will be among the slick thieves on a jewel heist (Bloom will apparently be slipping into the role previously played by the glacier-cool Alain Delon) while trying to ditch a relentless cop. The movie will reportedly shoot this summer in Macau and Hong Kong with a $40 million budget.

To has been at it for a long while, and still cranks out a couple of movies per year. He's successfully dabbled in almost every genre, but his action/crime tales are most satisfying -- track down EXILED, THE MISSION, BREAKING NEWS or even FULLTIME KILLER and call me a liar, I dares ya.

Thanks to 'Mike K.' for the alert!
Extra Tidbit: Yes, a Chinese director and actor are doing an English remake of a French film with an Irishman and a Brit.



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