Hit Denzel Washington Movie Just Got Remade, and You Might Not Have Realized It

A remake based on the Denzel Washington vehicle John Q is enjoying much success in China. Variety reported that Wanda Pictures' Fireflies in the Sun, which is an adaptation of the 2002 Washington film, is doing big numbers at the box office. After premiering in mid-December, Fireflies in the Sun opened in first place in the country with $54.2 million at the box office.  

Fireflies in the Sun is billed as a crime thriller. It was directed by Dai Mo and stars Xiao Yang, Janice Man, and Simon Yam. The film follows a family who is down on their luck after the son has an accident that leaves him needing expensive treatment. His father does everything in his power to make sure that his son can receive that treatment. Fireflies in the Sun premiered on Dec. 17, 2021 in China. 

Even though Fireflies in the Sun is an adaptation of one of Washington's films, it is billed as a sequel. According to Variety, the film is described as a sequel to the 2019 thriller Sheep Without a Shepherd. Interestingly enough, Sheep Without a Shepherd was also an adaptation of a foreign film, as it was based on the 2013 Indian movie Drishyam. The publication noted that it's interesting that Fireflies in the Sun would be billed as a sequel to Sheep Without a Shepherd, as the two films do not share any plot elements. Additionally, the two films do not share the same cast aside from the fact that they both featured Chopstick Brothers singer Xiao Yang. 

Fireflies in the Sun seems to be enjoying more success than the film that it was based on. John Q, which was directed by Nick Cassavetes and starred Washington, Anne Heche, Ray Liotta, and Robert Duvall, was released in February 2000. Just like Fireflies in the Sun, John Q follows a man who takes extreme measures after finding out that his son needs an expensive medical treatment. The movie garnered over $100 million during the course of its run in theaters. 


John Q may have earned a good deal at the box office, but it didn't spark many positive reviews from film critics. Variety reported that its own review of the film was less than positive. The outlet called it "a rare case of blatant political propaganda in a major Hollywood picture... bubbling over with melodrama and extreme situations" and added that it served as a "shamelessly manipulative commercial on behalf of national health insurance."