Upon a first viewing, John Carpenter’s gonzo action-comedy Big Trouble In Little China appears to have it all. It’s got a grizzled-to-perfection Kurt Russell dropping pearls of trucker philosophy, a pre-Sex And The City Kim Cattrall, an underworld of fantastical (and uncomfortably Orientalist) street gangs, wonderfully cheesy monsters made out of stuff you can probably find at your local Craft Barn, an evil wizard, and more kung fu than you can shake a bo-staff at.
So when 20th Century Fox wanted to launch a remake of Big Trouble In Little China, it had to answer a difficult question: What do you get the movie that has everything? It’s an unenviable task, trying to put a spin on a film featuring a semi-sentient floating eyeball who acts as a spy and overall minion for some kind of nefarious Chinese warlock. When a movie has as much super-cool synth-rock and hand-to-hand combat as Big Trouble does, there’s not a lot of room for improvement. The producers wisely went with a can’t-fail proposition and made a decision that has, historically, only ever made a project better. They got the Rock. (Or, they’re trying, anyway.)
With a new report from Deadline, the scent of what Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is cookin’ has now wafted over the Internet, and it’s Kurt Russell-flavored. The star, fresh off a successful opening weekend for his disaster vehicle San Andreas, has entered talks to star as Jack Burton in Fox’s planned Big Trouble In Little China remake. Though no deal has solidified as of yet, this really would be an inspired casting choice. Though he’s more valiant where Russell was rough-hewn, the Rock combines the original star’s muscular heroism with an irresistible charm like few other actors currently working can. Anybody who’s had the exquisite privilege of seeing Southland Tales knows full well that “kookoo-crazy” is a mode in which the Rock works all too well.