John Carpenter‘s 1986 comedy Big Trouble in Little China is probably even stranger than you remember. Its blend of mysticism, martial arts, and a memorable performance from star Kurt Russell makes it totally unlike anything else, and it’s one of those films that you almost can’t believe exists even as you’re watching it. It’s such a singular vision that to remake it would be silly – but word of a remake arrived back in 2015, with Dwayne Johnson set to play the lead role.
Three years later, though, one of the new movie’s producers explains that the project has evolved from a remake into something else: a Big Trouble in Little China sequel that continues the story from the original.
Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China was a commercial failure during its original theatrical release, and it’s not surprising to see why: this movie is out there, and even in a decade of excess like the 1980s, I can understand why it might have been too much for mainstream audiences to handle. But it’s since become a cult classic, and a Dwayne Johnson-starring remake was announced just before the original film celebrated its 30th anniversary. Johnson has talked about wanting to bring Carpenter on board in some capacity, but we never heard if that actually happened.
Big Trouble in Little China Update
In a new interview with Collider, producer Hiram Garcia gave an update on the project and explains that they’re now looking to continue the original story instead of retelling it:
“There’s a lot of things going on with [Big Trouble in Little China]. We are in the process of developing that, and let me tell you, the idea is not to actually remake Big Trouble in Little China. You can’t remake a classic like that, so what we’re planning to do is we’re going to continue the story. We’re going to continue the universe of Big Trouble in Little China. Everything that happened in the original exists and is standalone and I think there’s only one person that could ever play Jack Burton, so Dwayne would never try and play that character. So we are just having a lot of fun. We’re actually in a really great space with the story that we’ve cracked. But yeah, no remake. It is a continuation, and we are deep into development on that as well, and I think you’ll start hearing some things about that probably soon.”
With Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and now this, Johnson seems to be making a habit of continuing a story that began in a beloved movie. The question now becomes: will Russell reprise his role as Jack Burton in a cameo? And would fans even want to see that?
What Could A Sequel Be About?
It’s worth noting that Carpenter co-wrote a Big Trouble in Little China sequel comic that debuted last fall. Here’s the synopsis of that comic:
“The year is 2020, and hell is literally on Earth. Ching Dai, sick of relying on screw-ups like Lo Pan to do his bidding, has broken the barriers between Earth and the infinite hells, and declared himself ruler of all.
Sixty-year-old Jack Burton is alone in a tiny corner of Florida with only his broken radio to talk to, until one day it manages to pick up a message. Someone is out there in the hellscape, and they know a way to stop Ching Dai.”
Last year, I speculated about this comic potentially testing the waters for a possible film sequel. Could the producers of the new film have seen this comic and decided to use it as the basis for their story? Could Johnson’s character be the one on the other end of the radio here, with Russell coming back in a co-starring capacity? There are still a lot of questions about this project, but as Garcia mentioned, we should start to hear more concrete details about it soon.
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