Remember Remo Williams? No? Well, Iron Man 3's Shane Black is about to refresh your memory.
Black, who was personally selected by Robert Downey Jr. to co-write and direct last year's blockbuster Iron Man entry, has been attached to a number of different projects since, including Doc Savage. But it was announced today that Black will direct The Destroyer, a new film based on a series of paperback novels (some 150 of them) originally conceived by Warren Murphy.
According to the official synopsis, The Destroyer is the story of Newark police officer Remo Williams, who is framed and sentenced to death but brought back to life after his alleged execution. He then becomes an "enforcement arm" for CURE, a secret branch of the U.S. government that operates outside the boundaries of the Constitution. Williams is tasked with taking out America's enemies, aided by his apparently ageless Asian sidekick, Chiun.
And if some of that sounds familiar, that's because in 1985 Fred Ward starred in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, an attempt to launch the series on film that also featured Joel Grey as Chiun and a pre-Star Trek: Voyager Kate Mulgrew as Ward's leading lady. The movie was a flop and the "adventure" ended quickly, although Grey did nab a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor and the movie even got nominated for an Oscar for best makeup.
Still, 1985 was a long time ago, and it seems that the time has come around at last to give Remo Williams another go, probably with a grittier edge. Producer Charles Roven (the Dark Knight trilogy) said in a statement, "“Shane has been a fan of the original Destroyer book series since its inception and he has an incredible vision for this film. Atlas (Roven's production company) couldn’t be more fortunate to be working with this talented director on this material."
The screenplay is by Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and James Mullaney; the latter co-authored or wrote several of the books until the series stopped in 2008. There's no word yet on a cast, but hopefully the film will actually cast an Asian actor this time as Chiun.
In the meantime, The Playlist has helpfully posted the entire 1985 film online (directed by James Bond veteran Guy Hamilton), just to get you ready for the new one. What do you think -- could The Destroyer be the start of the next big action franchise?