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Monday, June 6, 2016

John Woo's ONCE A THIEF Resets With New Cast, Stephen Fung Starring And Directing


Acclaimed director John Woo's 1991 heist comedy, Once A Thief, may not share the usual "heroic bloodshed" tropes usually present in his other films, but it still remains a signature classic among ardent Hong Kong cinephiles. So, if you're feeling at all nostalgic after this update, feel free to pop it in your DVD player and reminisce a bit before the remake comes. That's right, the revamp is moving forward as a China/French co-production with Woo cohort Terence Chang producing following earlier updates in 2014.

Actor and filmmaker Stephen Fung will helm as well as star alongside The Assassin star, actress Shu Qi and The Monkey King 2 co-star William Feng. The original, prior to Woo's lesser-received Canadian CTV rendition in 1996, starred Chow Yun Fat, actress Cheire Cheung and actor and singer Leslie Cheung as a trio of international thieves who plot to get even when a powerful crimeboss - their foster father (played by Kenneth Tsang) who raised them as orphans, forces them onto a job that eventually goes awry.

The news comes in the wake of Fung's most recent attachment to direct the 2017 release, The Adventurers, back in March, adding to his directing resumè which includes Enter The Phoenix and House Of Fury, as well as period kung fu comedy tête-à-tête, Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero. While the film is being stated as more of a loose remake than anything at present, Fung has shown promise in implementing comedy with stylish action and so it's likely he'll be able to echo some of Woo's earlier successes.

Still, it remains to be seen if the film will hit home with fans of the original, and surely enough, Woo's got his share of fans far and wide. Alas, let's hope moviegoers will be able to distinguish this latest endeavor when it opens in a few years while Woo's own forthcoming remakes, The Killer, and Sato Junya's 1976 "Hot Pursuit" treatment, Manhunt, stay the course. (MTIME)

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