Film News

Woo's "Killer" gets a new U.S. contract

Festival jury member Hong Kong director John Woo poses during red carpet arrivals for the screening of German-born director Dominik Moll's film "Lemming" that opens the 58th Festival de Cannes May 11, 2005. Woo's 1989 Hong Kong classic "The Killer" will be remade in Los Angeles with a Korean star replacing Chow Yun-fat as the hard-boiled hit man. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BUSAN, South Korea (Hollywood Reporter) - Action director John Woo’s 1989 Hong Kong classic “The Killer” will be remade in Los Angeles with a Korean star replacing Chow Yun-fat as the hard-boiled hit man.

Director John H. Lee, a Korean-American, will move the action through L.A.’s Koreatown, Chinatown and South Central, said Woo’s longtime producer and partner at Lion Rock Prods., Terence Chang.

“The actor has to be Korean in this version, but also, L.A. is a character in the film,” Chang said in an interview on the opening day of the four-day Asian Film Market.

“In John’s original version, it doesn’t really matter where the film is set, except that Hong Kong has this dragon boat festival which adds a bit of local flavor. In this remake, we will use the geography of L.A. to move the story forward.”

Chang said a script was being worked on, but it was too early to reveal other details.

Director Lee told The Hollywood Reporter that he was excited about working on the remake of one of his “favorite films of all time.”

“I ask myself why they chose me and whether I can top it,” Lee said from Seoul on Monday. “But then I realize it’s not about making it better. It’s about making my own version. My strength is dealing with human emotions, austerity and elegance.”

The remake of “The Killer” will be the latest in a string of Asian films to cross the Pacific to Hollywood, where Martin Scorsese earlier this year won the best director Oscar for “The Departed,” a remake of the Hong Kong gangster film “Infernal Affairs.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter