If you ever doubted that the 90s are back then this news ought to make a believer out of you, Paramount Pictures is currently developing a Face/Off reboot.
The 1997 action movie, which starred John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, had a ridiculous plot even by Hollywood standards. That’s why the film spent years in development hell until director John Woo signed on along with the lead actors who were on the heights of their popularity at that time.
In the original movie, Cage played the maniacal killer and terrorist Castor Troy opposite Travolta’s Sean Archer, an FBI agent who’s hot on Troy’s trail. Before being nabbed by the authorities, Troy planted a bomb somewhere in the city and was about to kill more people.
After being knocked into a coma, Troy (unknowingly) went under the knife to literally swap faces with Archer so the FBI agent could track and disable the bomb.
According to the grapevine, “22 Jump Street” screenwriter Oren Uziel, along with Neal Moritz, has been hired to pen the script while David Permut will executive produce the reboot. Permut also executive produced the original film.
The original film had pretty convincing special effects so it will be interesting what technologies will be used for the remake. In the original movie, the VFX team created “unsettlingly realistic” latex dummies of Travolta and Cage for the face-transplanting scenes. The dummies looked exactly like the actors, right down to the body hair, each one painstakingly sewn by hand.
Animatronics were also used for these shots. The animatronics had facial features that moved and chests that rose to simulate breathing. Kevin Yagher’s special makeup completed the transformation.
Despite the hard sell, it was thrilling to see two of the most popular actors in the business (Cage just won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas a year earlier and had The Rock as a follow-up while Travolta was experiencing a post-Pulp Fiction career renaissance) impersonating each other and sometimes, even making fun of their looks. The film, which had an $80 million budget, went on to gross $245 million globally.
Now the question is, who are the top picks for the lead roles?