Kurt Russell (left) and John Carpenter
There is rarely a good reason to remake a movie that was done well before, and there is absolutely no good reason to remake a perfect movie — there is only greed. And so money is the only possible rationale for remaking Big Trouble in Little China, a film that cannot possibly be improved in any way.
Word is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, currently ruling the box office with San Andreas, will star as Jack Burton, the role originally brought to life by Kurt Russell. The announcement was met with almost universal scorn by fandom — which has been spun to be “mixed reactions” — and Johnson told Entertainment Weekly he wants John Carpenter, low-budget maestro and director of the 1986 original, to contribute to the new version:
“I loved reading the reactions from the fans, that they were so polarized – I’m the same way. My response is: know that I come to the project with nothing but love and respect for the original, which is why we want to bring on John Carpenter.”
In news that is sure to shake the pillars of heaven, Boom! Studios has its intention to publish a comic book based on John Carpenter’s 1986 action/comedy film Big Trouble in Little China and teased the release with a piece of teaser art by The Goon’s Eric Powell.
But that’s all the information the publisher has released; no hints on the creative team (unless the Powell art is a tip-off), story, setting, how many issues or a publishing timetable.
To which I can only say (to quote 1990s icon Stimpson J. Cat): “Happy, happy, joy, joy! Happy, happy, joy, joy! Happy, happy, joy, joy, joy! Or, as Kurt Russell‘s iconic trucker would say himself: “This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I’m talkin’ to whoever’s listenin’ out there…” Remember: Jack never drives faster than he can see!
Considering the scary amount of hatred hurled at this movie for even daring to exist, it’s a testament to perseverance that The Thing was released on Blu-ray today. Let’s get the obvious out of the way: This movie is not John Carpenter’s version of The Thing. It is not in the same class as John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, which is an unassailable classic. And now for the shocking bit: This movie doesn’t want to be John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, and it doesn’t try to be John Carpenter’s version of The Thing. It really wants to be its own,,,er, thing – and it succeeds.
I’m very excited to find a bona fide trailer for The Thing – no, not the 1982 John Carpenter film, but rather a new prequel to that particular horror classic. I know, it’s confusing to use the same title, but it could have been worse, had it been granted a typical Hollywood prequel title. Would you pay to see something called, say, “The Thing: The Freezing“?
This prequel is set just before Carpenter’s flick, and explains what happened at the Norwegian camp where the alien lifeform was actually discovered. (Carpenter fans will recall his movie opening with the Norwegian helicopter chasing the Thing in dog form.) The new film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Death Proof) as American paleontologist Kate Lloyd, who is called in to consult when Norway’s Antarctic researchers find some…thing really strange in the icepack.