Last week it was announced that Dwayne Johnson might be taking over the role of Jack Burton, originally portrayed by Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s 1986 cult classic Big Trouble In Little China. Not unlike the Chang Sing and the Wing Kong, fans of the original were split in their opinion of this casting. There weren’t any street fights (that we know of, anyway), but there were people who vehemently opposed the remake and others—like this writer—who didn’t think it would be so bad.
Now, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Johnson, who’s also set to produce, wants to bring back Carpenter for the new adventures of Jack Burton, Egg Shen, and Wang Chi. Apparently, Johnson actually reads internet comments and pays attention to fans’ opinions: “I loved reading the reactions from the fans, they were so polarized—I’m the same way,” he said. (At press time, it‘s not sure whether Johnson comments on The A.V. Club.)
Anyway, Johnson just wants everyone to relax: “I come to this project with nothing but love and respect for the original,” he says, stating that he “loved the original” when he was younger and “loved the main character—all the characters.” And he may be bringing along some serious talent: “[That’s] why we want to bring back John Carpenter,” he adds. “It felt like if we surrounded ourselves with the right group of people, the right writers who loved the movie too and wanted to honor it, bring on John Carpenter in some capacity…if we did that, then we have a shot at hopefully something good.”
But despite Johnson’s good intentions, it might be difficult to convince Carpenter. The director has stated in interviews that he’s happy just sitting at home and collecting royalty checks, and five years after his last film project, he may be content just to make music with his son. (Carpenter’s last directorial effort was 2010’s The Ward and his last screenplay was 2001’s Ghosts Of Mars.) So while getting Carpenter on board for a Big Trouble remake may get fans to drink the Six Demon Bag, if he does come back, it would probably be in nothing more than a producer role. At the very least, perhaps Carpenter can reunite the Coupe De Villes to record a new theme song.