John Woo To Remake The Killer For Peacock's Original Film Slate In Collaboration With Universal

Monday mornings are always a good time to wake ourselves up with some strange-but-true news, and it's hard to imagine anything else today topping this one. Director John Woo, the Chinese filmmaker behind so many classics such as 1992's "Hard Boiled," the gloriously campy Nicolas Cage and John Travolta two-hander "Face/Off," and several acclaimed Hong Kong action movies, is answering the prayers of many a movie fan and coming back with his latest feature. And get this — he's remaking his own movie for a straight-to-streaming project for Peacock.

1989's "The Killer" earned a high reputation among Woo advocates and helped pave his way to Hollywood, for good reason. Starring Chow Yun-Fat as the eponymous killer along with Danny Lee and Sally Yeh, the action/thriller follows Ah Jong embarking on the classic premise of an assassin who has just one more job to go before retirement. The twist, however, involves the need for setting things right when an innocent bystander is hurt during a dramatic shootout and can't pay for an expensive operation to save her eyesight — unless the coldblooded killer can pull off one last hit, that is.

Peacock announced that the "Mission: Impossible 2" director will be remaking his own film earlier today, part of three total upcoming movies that will headline the streaming service's newest premieres in 2023. Woo has sought to remake "The Killer" in English for several years now, with our last update coming in 2018 when actor Lupita Nyong'o was reported to join the cast as the new lead in Chow Yun-Fat's former role. The "Us" and "Black Panther" actor has filled up her schedule quite a bit in the time since and, to no one's surprise, her name is conspicuously absent from the press release. Nevertheless, even with no cast members officially announced, Woo's dream to "reimagine" his 1989 action classic, as Peacock puts it, is exciting (and unexpected!) enough on its own.

Peacock's bid for new subscribers

How many streaming services is too much? Well, Peacock is willing to bet big on the hope that potential subscribers won't draw the line here. In addition to John Woo's remake of "The Killer," the streamer also announced a pair of new films that will be produced by Universal Pictures, as the two make good on their recent collaborations in past years. Viewers can also expect to see "Shooting Stars" and "Praise This" make their way to Peacock sometime in 2023. "Shooting Stars" is described as following "LeBron [James'] origin story as a high-school basketball player and is currently being filmed in his hometown of Akron." "Praise This," meanwhile, comes from producer Will Packer ("Girls Trip") and stars "Chloe Bailey as the newest member of a community's church choir who pushes her members in a hipper musical direction and whose involvement with an irreverent hip-hop star may kick off — or jeopardize — her own musical career."

In a statement released by Kelly Campbell, President of Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer and International, NBCUniversal, she had this to say about the news:

"We know people join Peacock to watch movies, so we are constantly adding more to serve fans. Together with the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, we are excited to deliver fresh, exclusive, original films next year to our customers in addition to the legendary Universal Pictures blockbuster films and beloved franchises streaming now."

This is presumably the first in a wave of projects meant to entice subscribers to join the streaming service, though I have to wonder what demographic they intend to attract. I'm not sure how big an overlap exists between hardcore John Woo acolytes, sports fans, and those invested in the career of singer/songwriter/actor Chloe Bailey, but I'm as curious as you are to see how this all works out! Either way, there's bound to be many film junkies who sign up for Peacock (however begrudgingly) simply for the John Woo factor next year. Keep an eye on /Film for more updates on "The Killer" and these other Peacock offerings as they come in.