MOVIE NEWS – For the first time in nearly 20 years, John Woo will direct a film in the United States that will not contain a single line of dialogue.
When the Hollywood film industry starts to get boring, audiences looking for heroic stories always look in a different direction, often better in the East. Hong Kong, alongside Bollywood, has always rivalled Hollywood for its martial arts films, swashbuckling costume adventure movies and action films. In the latter genre, John Woo has been the region’s No. 1 even if Johnnie To and Ringo Lam are equally big names, since Woo not only broke into the Dream Factory but many, including the Wachowski brothers for The Matrix, have drawn more than a few ideas from his beretta symphonies. The creator returns to the mainstream after a long break, and with a big one!
Deadline has reported that Silent Night, John Woo’s first American action film in a long time, is in the works and will star Joel Kinnaman, who many of you may know from Suicide Squad. Interestingly, it is being made almost as a silent film. I mean, it will be silent in the sense that there will be noises, noises and music, but no dialogue. Other than that, the story is very John Woo: the protagonist, played by Kinnaman, is a father whose son is murdered and goes on a revenge spree that is celebrated by the entire underworld.
Unsurprisingly, the producers of the recently picked-up and stylish action film series John Wick, Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, are behind the project, along with Christian Mercuri (The Criminal) and Lori Tilkin, assistant and producer respectively of John Woo’s previous films (Rift in the Shield, Decepticon, Mission: Impossible 2, Red Rock).
John Woo is a filmmaker of cinematic history primarily because of his Hong Kong action films. However, he admittedly drew from Sam Peckinpah’s westerns and action thrillers, which also contain artistic slow-motion (see, for example, the wild gang or the straw dog shoot-out scenes in Straw Dogs). Woo was perfecting and elevating to the tenth degree what Peckinpah had experimented within Hollywood. Better Tomorrow 1-2, The Assassin, Bullet to the Head or God of Guns (Hard Boiled) are unique treasures.
Do you think Woo will make a significant return to the American mainstream? Is this dialogue-free action movie going to be good?