John Carpenter

A remake/sequel of ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ was announced back in 2015, with plans to build the new film around Dwayne Johnson.  At the time, John Carpenter, who directed the original 1986 film stated that he was “ambivalent” about it, but added, “It depends on how much they pay me.”  His feelings on the matter haven’t improved.  In fact, they might be harsher.

While promoting the new ‘Halloween’, along with producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Studios, Carpenter was asked about ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ and bluntly stated:

“They want a movie with Dwayne Johnson. That’s what they want. So they just picked that title. They don’t give a shit about me and my movie. That movie wasn’t a success.”

That’s true.  Even though the campy, over-the-top original is a cult classic, it was a dismal failure when it was released in theaters, making back less than half of its $25 million budget.

As for the new film, in August, producer Hiram Garcia stated that “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…”  He stressed that the original lead, Jack Burton, played by Kurt Russell, would be left untouched and that Johnson would be playing a new character.  As Carpenter himself described Burton, he is “a guy who thinks he’s the Action Hero when he’s really the comic sidekick.”  Johnson himself has publicly expressed a desire to get Carpenter involved with the new flick, but that doesn’t seem likely.

Who knows when or if this new ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ will ever show up.  Johnson has two movies in the can, waiting for release; the Stephen Merchant comedy ‘Fighting with my Family’ and the big-budget Disney flick ‘Jungle Cruise’.  He is now filming the ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-off ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ with Jason Statham.  He is also attached to return for the sequel to ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle‘ which is locked in to be released on December 13, 2019, and the art heist thriller ‘Red Notice’, costarring Gal Gadot, which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2020.  He is also attached to play Black Adam for a Warner Brothers superhero movie, possibly two if the character is included in ‘Suicide Squad 2‘.  He is also attached to play King Kamehameha in the biopic ‘The King’, to return for a sequel to ‘San Andreas’ and to play pulp magazine hero ‘Doc Savage’.

So… it’s possible that somewhere in there, he could make ‘Big Trouble in Little China’.