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Director Watch: Woo's Killer Remake, Cameron's Battle Angel, Gatsby's Green Light, Hooper's Secrets

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 1, 2011 at 9:15AM

- John Woo (Red Cliff) and long-time producing partner Terence Chang's Lion Rock Productions is ramping up a remake of The Killer, which Woo directed in 1989. This remake will be directed for English-language audiences by South Korean director John H. Lee and stars Jung Woo-Sung in the role originally played by Chow Yun-Fat. This will be a modern take on the story about an assassin who devotes everything to protecting a singer whom he accidentally blinded.
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Thompson on Hollywood


- John Woo (Red Cliff) and long-time producing partner Terence Chang's Lion Rock Productions is ramping up a remake of The Killer, which Woo directed in 1989. This remake will be directed for English-language audiences by South Korean director John H. Lee and stars Jung Woo-Sung in the role originally played by Chow Yun-Fat. This will be a modern take on the story about an assassin who devotes everything to protecting a singer whom he accidentally blinded.

States Woo:


"While all my films are special to me, The Killer is truly one of my favorites. We are thrilled to reinvent it as an English-language film and know it's in capable hands by the incredible visual style and tender emotion John H. Lee brings to all his films."

- What are Tom Hooper's secrets of success? He lists them for THR: "1. Fail as a Child Actor Directed by Roger Mortimer; 2. Listen to Helen Mirren, Don't Be an Actor Manipulator Like Howard Hawks; 3. Listen to Geoffrey Rush; 4. Listen to Geoffrey's Body Talk; 5. Be a Bit of an Actor Manipulator Like Howard Hawks," and concludes that his bottom line when working with actors: "make them partners in the storytelling process."

- James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis's Japanese Manga adaptation Battle Angel has been back-burnered since Avatar, and despite a busy five years ahead -- Avatar 2 & 3 - Cameron still "love[s] it too much" to give it to someone else to direct. "It’s such a rich world. What I’m going to do is take the spine story and use elements from the first four books. So, the Motorball from books three and four, and parts of the story of one and two will all be in the movie." Collider has the details on Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita plot and characters. It was originally published in 1990. Collider calls the comics "unbelievably cinematic."

- Hold your breath for word on whether Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby - with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and (rumored) Hayley Atwell - will get the green light. "I gotta make a decision in three days," he told Vulture at Saturday night's DGA Awards…“I think I've been a bit shaded out because I want everything to be perfectly positioned on it…There will be news by the end of the week.”

[Photos: Luhrmann - Bazmark Film II/James Fisher]

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Daily Read, Media, Oscars, James Cameron, Tom Hooper, Remake, Comics, Colin Firth


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.