The new Face/Off movie was expected to be a remake, but Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard is hoping he can convince Nicolas Cage and John Travolta to swap faces once again. Neither star was expected to return when news broke that Wingard was hired to helm the movie in February. The original Face/Off was directed by John Woo and was one of the biggest original action hits of the 1990s, grossing $245 million upon release in 1997.
In a new interview with Cheat Sheet, Wingard said his movie will be a "continuation" of the original film rather than a complete remake. "It's not about the world that the characters exist in. It's about Sean Archer and it's about Castor Troy," Wingard explained, referring to the characters Travolta and Cage played. "That's what this movie is about. It's the continuation of that story. It's hard to talk about other than that but this is, to me, the definitive continuation of that saga."
Wingard said Travolta and Cage are "interested" and if they signed on, they would get script approval. The only issue is that the script has been finished yet. When Paramount hired Wingard, he began writing a new script with his creative partner, Simon Barrett, reportedly ditching a draft by Oren Uziel (The Cloverfield Paradox).
"We're still writing the script so it's still in early phases," Wingard told Cheat Sheet. "Simon and I are very close to turning in our draft to Paramount soon. We'll have to get over those hurdles of do they like this movie? They've read our outline. Everybody's on board with it but actually turning in the script's a different thing so we'll see how everybody reacts to it."
When Cheat Sheet suggested Wingard's movie could focus on women swapping faces, he shot down that idea simply because he wants to continue Troy and Archer's story. "It's not that I would be opposed to that but again, this is a story about Sean Archer and Castor Troy," he explained. "To stick with that, the story is leading us in a very specific direction."
The original Face/Off was written by Mike Web and Michael Colleary. In the movie, FBI Agent Sean Archer (Travolta) becomes obsessed with stopping the homicidal terrorist Castor Troy (Cage). After Troy is captured and refuses to reveal where he has planted a bomb, Archer decides in order to find out where it, he has to literally swap faces with Troy. While Archer is in prison with Troy's face, Troy escapes while wearing Archer's face and causes general havoc before the two finally face off. Reviews for the stylized film were positive and it earned an Oscar nomination for Best Sound Effects Editing.