EXCLUSIVE: Which Two English-Language Films is John Woo Circling Next?


Just because he hasn't made a film in America since 2003, "It doesn't mean I have given up on Hollywood," John Woo told me this morning in a discussion about his latest film Red Cliff. That film, like his next project Jianyu Jianghu (with Michelle Yeoh) are both Chinese-language, but Woo has still been linked to many Hollywood projects in development. In fact, Woo's IMDb profile is overflowing with films he's been attached to, but as he revealed to me, the two English-language movies he's most interested in directing have never been announced until now.

"I still have two projects that I like very much," he said. "One is trying to remake a French classic called Le Samouraï." That news may surprise Woo fans, since the director already mounted a near-remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's 1967 crime drama with his Chow Yun-Fat starrer The Killer. However, twenty years have passed since the release of The Killer, and as Woo explained, "I want to make it into a modern film."

As for the second project, it has something in common with Red Cliff, said Woo. "The other is also a historical period film: Marco Polo." He laughed as he revealed that while the ancient Chinese story of the Battle of Red Cliff has long dominated his thoughts, he's been just as interested in the tales of explorer Marco Polo and his relationship with Kublai Khan. "It's one of my favorite stories," he said.

For more from my interview with John Woo, be sure to check Movieline next Tuesday.