Dwayne Johnson Will Star in a ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ Remake

Dwayne Johnson Big Trouble in Little China

“When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: ‘Have ya paid your dues, Jack?’ ‘Yessir, the check is in the mail.'” – Jack Burton

Well, the check is also in the mail to Dwayne Johnson, who has just signed on to star in a remake of John Carpenter’s beloved cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. The original 1986 film starred Kurt Russell as a blowhard trucker who gets sucked into a centuries-old battle between an undead Chinese wizard and heroic San Francisco gang members, and has developed a loyal fan base due to its quotable dialogue, unforgettable imagery and a plot that turned 1980s “badass cinema” on its ear by making the hunky musclebound white protagonist into a hapless sidekick.

Related: The Top Ten John Carpenter Movies

Big Trouble in Little China PosterThe Wrap reports that Dwayne Johnson will step into Jack Burton’s shoes for the remake, which is being written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, the writers of X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Power Rangers reboot. There’s no word yet on who will direct the new Big Trouble in Little China, but considering the original’s famously complicated balance of humor, action, fantasy and drama, they’ll have a major challenge on their hands. 

Hopefully 20th Century Fox, which is producing the remake, will realize that the long term success of Big Trouble in Little China has more to do with the film’s affable and unique personality that it does with star power, and will seek out talent that produces more than just action movies. Let’s just say that if they hire someone like Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) or Brett Ratner (Hercules), the fans are going to be seriously pissed.

But whether you’re excited about a Big Trouble in Little China remake or you’re absolutely furious right now (and we wouldn’t blame you), it’s hard to deny that they’ve found a pretty damned good star in Dwayne Johnson. The former wrestler’s acting career has taken off due to his effortless charisma, making otherwise unwatchable films pretty damned watchable and turning merely good films into genuine crowd pleasers. Dwayne Johnson has also never been one to cling too tightly to his tough guy image, repeatedly embracing self-effacing humor in films like Pain & Gain and The Other Guys, so it’s possible that he understands that Jack Burton only looks like the hero of John Carpenter’s cult classic, but is actually a comic relief character who barely does anything helpful throughout the entire film.

Either way, we look forward to any one of the hottest pop acts of the 21st century remixing the awesome theme song to Big Trouble in Little China, originally performed by John Carpenter’s band The Coup De Villes.


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.