It’s official: John Carpenter’s 1986 action-comedy Big Trouble in Little China is being remade, and will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the role of Jack Burton. The original film is the epitome of a cult classic: A well-told story that is masked to some extent by its drive-in thrills, and dated by special effects (and perhaps certain racial elements) you’d never see today. Kurt Russell does John Wayne in a mullet and muscle-T, James Hong is over-the-top evil as David Lo Pan, and John Carpenter isn’t afraid to go crazy with the makeup, splatters and foam rubber. It’s a product of its time, and for fans, it’s perfect not in spite of its quirks but because of them.
In other words, the people who like Big Trouble in Little China are likely to be dead-set against a remake.
Rob Bricken at io9 tries to keep an open mind, but fears for the worst: “Look, gun to my head, if Big Trouble in Little China needed to be remade, I’d probably put the Rock at the top of the list to play Jack Burton. He’s an action star with great comedic timing, But still, the opportunities for this to go horribly, horribly wrong are immense.”
Commenters, who are against the remake, bring up two interesting points. One, John Carpenter himself got together with writer Eric Powell and artist Brian Churilla to make a Big Trouble in Little China comic book series that came out from Boom! Studios last year—and was a hit:
So there’s a decent argument that the BTiLC world has more stories to tell, and that perhaps with some juggling of elements the comic book could be fodder for a sequel starring The Rock, rather than a remake.
Another point (warning: silly) is that this 2012 clip exists, and stars the real James Hong as David Lo Pan:
“That’s the only remake I need,” says io9 commenter CoffeeJedi. He has a point.