stranglehold

John Woo‘s production company Lion Rock Entertainment is developing a big screen sequel to the classic 1992 Hong Kong action film Hard Boiled. Screenwriters Jeremy Passmore (Special) and Andre Fabrizio (upcoming John Carpenter film The Prince) are penning the adaption of the Woo-produced 2007 video game Strangehold, which was an official sequel to Hard Boiled and featured star Chow Yun-Fat reprising his role as hard-boiled cop Inspector “Tequila” Yuen. I assume the film  being developed for American audiences, as American screenwriters are attached. Which makes me wonder if this would be a real sequel to Hard Boiled, or a stand-alone film which could function as a sequel to Hard Boiled in an alternative universe where the first film took place in the United States (and some people thought Watchmen was confusing?).

The original film has garnered cult status and is considered one of the greatest and most influential action films of all time (#9) and of the the top cult films of all time (#18) by Entertainment Weekly . Empire Magazine said that it was “more exciting than a dozen Die Hard’s” and even went on to include the film’s lead protagonist, Tequila, as #33 on their list of the greatest movie characters of all time. The film includes a famous action sequence in a burning hospital that was shot in one long take lasting 2 minutes and 42 seconds with a single handheld camera. If you haven’t seen Hard Boiled, you really should. Normally I’d recommend Netflixing the movie, but this time I’m going to tell you just to buy it — there is no excuse not to own it. Amazon is selling copies of the double disc Ultimate edition for around $11. Strangely enough, the PlayStation 3 version of the Collector’s Edition of Stranglehold contains the only high-definition version of the film currently available as a bonus option.

The official box description of the game offers the following plot description: “Honor is his code. Vengeance is his mission. Bloodshed is his only option…” … “Ensnared by a crime boss with a gripping secret, Inspector Tequila is forced to cross the line from sworn duty to bloody revenge.” … “Tequila’s loyalties to the force are tested when his ex-wife is kidnapped by the Russian mob in Chicago. Tequila struggles to balance his duty to uphold the law with doing what it takes to save his family. Carve a unique path of massive destruction and use the environment as a weapon against your enemies. The highly modified Unreal 3.0 engine breathes new life into game environments and characters with stunning graphics & an ever-changing battleground.”

The news was buried within a THR article from three days ago (and somehow no one noticed?!) about a remake of the Chuck Norris Vietnam action film Missing in Action, which the same screenwriters are penning for MGM and WWE.

(Thanks to /Film reader Emmett D of Flicksnews for the tip)

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