John Woo has been lured back to Hollywood, apparently, having been drawn in by the irresistible prospect of Joel Kinnaman not talking.
Which is to say that Deadline reports today that Woo—who hasn’t made an English language picture for the last 18 years, dating back to the Ben Affleck “kind of, sort-of Philip K. Dick adaptation” Paycheck back in 2003—is set to direct Kinnaman in a new film titled Silent Night. Which won’t exactly be breaking that “no English language” streak, actually, given that the central conceit of the film is that it’s an entirely dialogue-free action thriller.
There’s no screenwriter currently attached to the movie—which, fair enough—but it will apparently star Kinnaman as a “a normal father” who “heads into the underworld to avenge his young son’s death.” (The Deadline reports that the plot itself is “basic,” which is very funny to us as a selling point for a narrative film.)
Kinnaman has spent the last few years establishing his bona fides as an action star, most notably in his two Suicide Squad movies. (He also played RoboCop, in case you’d managed to somehow forget the 2014 RoboCop remake.) (We had.)
Woo, meanwhile, has been perfectly busy—just not with making the sort of rain-soaked, dove-heavy action spectaculars that made him an international name in the 1990s, and a somewhat dependable Hollywood presence from 1996 to 2003. Outside of 2017's Manhunt, his recent films have all been Chinese historical epics of one stripe or another, including the two Red Cliff movies, and the more recent The Crossing series, which blended romance, war, and disaster movies into his more familiar style.
The attachment of Woo has, not surprisingly, raised Silent Night’s profile considerably; Deadline notes that distributors have already begun taking an interest that “Joel Kinnaman shoots people—but quietly” wasn’t necessarily generating.