Good news for fans of action movies and extreme surgeries: Beloved '90s blockbuster Face/Off is getting a remake. The movie features an FBI agent (played by John Travolta) who borrows the face of a comatose crime lord (played by Nicolas Cage), only to have his face in turn stolen by the crime lord. It's popped back into the zeitgeist this year, first with a Shakespearean interpretation mounted in a New York park in July, and now with this remake, penned by the dude who wrote Sonic The Hedgehog.
If you're skeptical, well, you're not alone. Do we really need a new version of Face/Off? Here's an idea: Instead of simply rehashing this story, why not make a movie about the making of Face/Off? There have been movies about the making of Citizen Kane and even The Room, so why not chronicle how this one insane idea somehow survived a gauntlet of Hollywood ineptitude to gross over $245 million?
According to a "deep dive" by the Shortlist, the original script took place way in the future to justify the wacky surgery the story hinges on. There wouldn't just be impractical prisons where everyone wears magnetic boots, but also flying cars, an abandoned Golden Gate Bridge occupied by an army of homeless people, and chimpanzee slaves. The screenwriters met with Warner Bros., where an executive balked at the "staggeringly good" makeup the movie would require, not realizing the two actors would merely trade roles.
Even once the movie was greenlit at Paramount, weird ideas kept popping up. The original director thought that the bomb Travolta has to disarm should be "sentient in some way." And because it was the '90s, you have to imagine they would have gone with Pauly Shore to voice Bomby the Bomb. Johnny Depp almost starred, but dropped out once he read the script and realized it wasn't about hockey. (Seriously.) Eventually, legendary action director John Woo became attached and reigned in a lot of the insanity, but he still had to wrangle Travolta and Cage, who at one point allegedly got incredibly annoyed that Woo brought him a birthday cake on set. That's the movie we want to see. Your move, Hollywood.
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