Face/Off 2 Writer Says Initial Pitch Confused Execs Due To All The Face-Swapping

Considering the delicious absurdity of the narrative behind "Face/Off," it brings me great joy to tell you that the writer of the 1997 thriller's sequel, Simon Barrett, recently revealed that his and director Adam Wingard's original pitch was just as out there. 

In juxtaposition to the original's pretty straightforward concept, the premise of the follow-up left studios scratching their heads. Speaking to ComicBook.com, Barrett said:

"I want to say something that people haven't mentioned yet. It took Adam and I two years to pitch 'Face/Off 2' because our pitch was so confusing that [the studio] just kept saying, 'We think we like what you're saying, but can you just explain who's got whose face on in this scene?' Ultimately, it was only when they actually paid us to write a 35-page treatment that I think everyone really understood what we were proposing. There's a lot of enthusiasm at the studio level, which I'm not used to. I think that has a little bit to do with my friend Adam's recent monster movie's ['Godzilla vs. Kong'] success in theaters this year. But you never know, you never know."

The screenwriter, who made his directorial debut with his Shudder original film "Seance" this year, also explained that the sequel's script is still undergoing changes. "'Face/Off 2' remains in healthy, active development. We have a script, we are rewriting our script, and I think we are really excited about the direction we're taking the rewrite," Barrett told the outlet. "But we've got Neil Moritz and Paramount behind us and, so far, they keep giving us somewhat befuddled, but genuinely enthusiastic thumbs up, every step of the way."

No matter how you feel about the original film, or even the fact that there is going to be a sequel, one thing that is sure to be interesting is Barrett and Wingard's partnership on the property. Wingard has grown to be a major player as a studio director, but his friendship and creative bond with Barrett has produced some of his most fun work to date, including "The Guest" and "You're Next." There's no telling what this film will end up being like, but it's pretty much guaranteed to be fun, which isn't hard to appreciate. 

What do we know about Face/Off 2?

Simon Barrett is writing the script, with longtime creative partner Adam Wingard directing. There haven't been any casting announcements thus far — though Nicolas Cage, who starred in the original film alongside John Travolta, previously expressed interest in returning for a sequel.

In May, Barrett told The Hollywood Reporter that fans of "The Guest" may particularly enjoy what's coming from his version of "Face/Off."

"I'm hoping that anyone who wants a sequel to 'The Guest' will find that our 'Face/Off 2' completely scratches that itch for them," he told the outlet. "In my mind, the sense of humor is very similar." He added, "We're trying to let ourselves be guided by our pure love of 'Face/Off.' One of the purest loves that Adam and I both understand is our love of the film 'Face/Off,' and I think we have the right sensibility."

Despite all the hype, an official release date for the project has yet to be announced.