When it was announced Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (San Andreas) was looking to headline a remake of John Carpenter’s cult film Big Trouble in Little China, the Internet exploded. Some were excited by the prospect of remaking what my colleague calls the action/martial arts/supernatural movie, while others were horrified. Now that the dust has settled a bit, what does Kurt Russell think of the idea?
The actor recently sat down with Collider for his new Western Bone Tomahawk, when conversation veered towards the remake of Big Trouble in Little China with Johnson. Russell starred in the original movie directed by John Carpenter back in 1986. Both had previously worked together on two other cult movies: Escape From New York (1981) and The Thing (1982). They would team up again for a sequel to Escape From New York titled Escape From L.A. in 1996.
“I was just talking to someone for this and he was bringing that up, it’s funny those often get brought up. You know, I heard they were gonna remake Big Trouble in Little China, I heard they were gonna make Overboard, they were gonna remake some Disney stuff. I mean, I don’t know, I guess it’s that time now. Hey, you know, nothing sacred, why not? Go get it, good luck. I always think it’s interesting what’s gonna be done. Dwayne Johnson I don’t know what his take on it is gonna be, I don’t know what they’re gonna do. I always look at those movies when I see a remake and it’s like, “Ok… there’s gotta be a reason”
Russell also discussed the fact that John Carpenter’s The Thing was not really a remake, even though it was the third movie adaptation of Who Goes There? A 1938 sci-fi novella by Don A. Stuart, the pen name of John W. Campbell Jr. The first big-screen version was titled The Thing From Another World and was released in 1951. The second movie, Horror Express, hit the screens in 1972. A mediocre prequel to Carpenter's The Thing even saw the light of day in 2011.
“We did the remake of The Thing. But John didn’t want to remake the original movie, he wanted to remake Who Goes There? He wanted not to remake The Thing, he wanted to do a movie of Who Goes There? Which had never been made, which was the short story. So ours is in fact quite different that the original Thing and it was a horrific monster [Laughs] and it took a long time for that movie to kind of gain it’s appreciation but through the years it’s been nice to watch that happen with that movie, it’s now considered one of the great horror movies ever made and I’m very proud to have been a part of that. So with Big Trouble in Little China John and I, I know we did something that at that time was –The sensibility of that movie was very different, no movie had been made like that, and virtually you flip-flopped the leading man and the psychic, you flip-flopped those roles, that had never been done. And a lot of the humor and the style of that movie was brand new for that time and was very much copied after that, so in its way Big Trouble is definitely a cult film. So I don’t know what their reasons are for remaking the movie but I hope that they have the right reasons and I hope that they do it well and good luck, what can I say? I don’t know, I don’t have thoughts other than that. Hang in there, good luck, go get em’.”
What do you think about Kurt Russell's comments? Are you looking forward to that Big Trouble in Little China remake, or do you think the cult movie should be left alone?