As the writer for Face/Off Sequel, Simon West says he’s gotten some very befuddled reactions from people who are unsure what to make of this “ridiculous” project that has no connection to anything.
Face/Off is a 1997 action film that starred John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. The movie was directed by John Woo, and the script for the sequel has been written by Brian Helgeland. The writer has stated that he’s getting “befuddled” reactions to his ambitious script.
Face/Off, directed by John Woo, was an ambitious story about sophisticated and ridiculous cosmetic surgery in which the heroic Sean Archer (John Travolta) changed features with terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to carry out a clandestine operation. While the concept was clearly absurd, it produced a very enjoyable experience that was reasonably simple to follow. The proposed sequel, on the other hand, seems to be much more intricate and difficult to understand, with writer Simon Barrett recently remembering how difficult it was to describe the vision he and director Adam Wingard had for the film, though he says it’s now in a lot more digestible position.
“Face/Off 2 is still in its early stages of development. We have a screenplay, and we’re rewriting it, and I think we’re very thrilled about where the rewrite is going. But we’ve had Neil Moritz and Paramount on our side, and they’ve been giving us confused but enthusiastic thumbs up every step of the way so far “Barrett verified the information with. “I’d want to add something that hasn’t been addressed before. Because our proposal was so complex, [the studio] kept asking, ‘We believe we like what you’re saying, but can you just clarify who has whose face on in this scene?’ It took Adam and myself two years to pitch Face/Off 2, because our pitch was so convoluted. Finally, I believe that it was only when they paid us to create a 35-page treatment that everyone grasped what we were suggesting. At the studio level, there’s a lot of excitement, which I’m not accustomed to. I believe this has something to do with the success of my buddy Adam’s latest monster movie [Godzilla vs. Kong] in cinemas this year. But, as they say, you never know.”
When word of the project first broke, it was unclear if the new film would be a reproduction of the source material or a continuation of the previous one, but Barrett said that creating a sequel had much more potential than just repeating the original story.
“When you’re working on a film like Face/Off 2, you’re not permitted to speak about it,” the screenwriter confessed. “But there was an announcement, and I’m not sure whether that was really deliberate, in which it was promoted as a Face/Off remake, and Adam and I had to become loud and say, ‘No, it’s not a remake.’ It’s a straight follow-up.’ We don’t care whether it’s better or worse since we believe it’s better, but it’s certainly better than a Face/Off remake, because you know how that would end, don’t you? Continuing the tale of Castor Troy and Sean Archer, maybe with some younger characters thrown in for good measure, is much more intriguing to me.”
Given that genre fans have become fans of the filmmaking pair thanks to films like You’re Next and The Guest, Barrett promised that the Face/Off sequel isn’t just a chance to work on a movie with broad appeal, and that fans can expect their filmmaking sensibilities to be carried over.
“The reality is that this was not a contract position. We went out and found it, presented it to the proper people who hold the rights, and now we’re going through with it “Barrett was certain. “If we ever had any real success, Adam always said, and I would agree, we would use it to create more unique films, more films that reflect our vision, more films that are crazy and exciting, and the methods that we particularly like to do that. And he’s backed up his words with actions. I haven’t had that chance yet, but Adam has, and he’s having Thundercats and Face/Off 2 greenlit. You could assume, “Oh, these people are simply going on to projects and getting paid,” if you read the trades.”
He said, “I’d want to be clear: we’re not being paid very much. These are the ideas we’re developing and persuading studios to let us play with these extremely precious IPs, so that’s where Adam’s money is presently being spent on some potentially very interesting films. That doesn’t guarantee that these plans will come to fruition. Obviously, there are many steps between Face/Off 2 and the theater screen in front of you, including some apparent casting difficulties, but we won’t give up without a fight.”
Barrett wrote and directed a piece for the horror anthology V/H/S/94, which is now available to watch on Shudder. Stay tuned for further information on the Face/Off sequel’s future.
Are you excited to see the new film? Let us know in the comments section below, or reach out to Patrick Cavanaugh on Twitter to discuss all things horror and Star Wars!
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