Dwayne Johnson is starting to make a habit of rebooting cult franchises with a shinier, brawnier semi-sequel. And after the massive success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it’s no wonder that he’s been eyeing another beloved film: Big Trouble in Little China.
Cast as the lead for the remake (or maybe sequel?) back in 2015, Johnson has been pretty quiet about what the Big Trouble in Little China sequel will entail. But the director of the original film, John Carpenter, has a few choice words for the project.
After news of the Big Trouble in Little China remake was met with some fan uproar, Johnson attempted to appease fans by saying that the project would involve John Carpenter in some capacity — but that seems like that won’t be the case.
In a round-table interview with CinemaBlend in anticipation of the upcoming Halloween, Carpenter slammed the new Big Trouble in Little China sequel:
“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.”
It’s true that Johnson’s name carries big clout in Hollywood these days — just look at the huge bidding war over a project that carried his name, a barebones premise, and nothing else. And it’s no wonder that Carpenter is so prickly toward sequels to his classic films: the sequels to and remakes of Halloween, The Thing and others have only been blatant cash grabs that threaten to spoil the legacy of his originals.
As for his claim that the movie “wasn’t a success,” well, he’s not wrong there either. Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China was a commercial failure during its original theatrical release, taking in only $11 million domestically. The pure ’80s schlock of the martial arts fantasy comedy was a little out there for mainstream audiences, but it has since become a cult classic.
But again, we haven’t heard a word out of the production for Big Trouble in Little China, except for a brief update from producer Hiram Garcia this summer, who confirmed, “It is a continuation, and we are deep into development on that as well, and I think you’ll start hearing some things about that probably soon.”
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