Face/Off 2 is official. Well, truthfully it has been official for a while, but now a few more details surrounding the direct sequel to the 1997 Nic Cage hit Face/Off are starting to reveal themselves. Granted, there isn’t much to report on, but we’ll do our best here.
FACE/OFF 2 HAS A POPULAR DIRECTOR
Suddenly (or maybe not so), Face/Off 2 director Adam Wingard has become quite popular. At the moment, the 38-year-old director has the number one film at the box office with Godzilla vs. Kong (a movie which we loved), the MonsterVerse movie to end all MonsterVerse movies. A glance at his resume will show you much of his work falls into the horror genre with A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next, V/H/S, the Blair Witch remake, and Death Note among his scary titles. None of those movies made a killing at the box office but they were made well enough that Warner Bros. and Legendary handed over the MonsterVerse reins to Wingard. He didn’t disappoint.
It was Wingard who posted to his Instagram that he and longtime collaborator Simon Barrett together will be penning Face/Off 2, which Wingard says will not be a remake. “I would NEVER re-imagine or remake FACE/OFF,” he wrote. “It’s a perfect action movie. Simon Barrett and I are writing a direct SEQUEL! 🙂 :).”
This is fantastic news that Wingard and Barrett appreciate what director John Woo did with the first movie, having no intention of remaking the film.
WILL THE LEADS RETURN IN FACE/OFF 2?
The biggest question surrounding Face/Off 2 is whether or not both original stars return. By stars, we mean John Travolta and Nic Cage. Where do we start with these two? Both have had amazing careers and have appeared in many signature movies. Of course, John Travolta began his career on the hit TV series Welcome Back, Kotter turning that into feature film stardom with early movies such as Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Urban Cowboy, and the Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive. He then went on to star in the Look Who’s Talking trifecta as well as hitting it big time as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. After moderate success with Get Shorty, Broken Arrow, and Michael, Travolta joined Nic Cage in John Woo’s very first American feature film. Wingard has every intention of bringing Travolta back for a second facing off as Sean Archer.
Now, given Nic Cage’s recent movie choices, this seems like a for sure thing. Cage’s career has pretty much mirrored Travolta’s trajectory, white-hot to start with, solid middle, B-movie twilight. Whereas Travolta has faded though, Nic Cage remains a B-movie legend. Returning as bad guy Castor Troy would be a good get for Nic Cage as, like Travolta, Wingard plans to do what it takes to bring Cage back.
Wingard made his full intentions known when speaking about the sequel and how the movie doesn’t necessarily revolve around the face-off procedure per se, but more around the two main characters. “Some people just assume when I say that that it just means it takes place in the world of Face/Off,” Wingard said via Comicbook. “To me, Face/Off isn’t about a procedure or anything like that. It’s not about the world that the characters exist in. It’s about Sean Archer and it’s about Castor Troy. That’s what this movie is about. It’s the continuation of that story. It’s hard to talk about other than that but this is, to me, the definitive continuation of that saga.”
FIXING THE FAUX PAS
The plot details for Face/Off 2 are extremely scarce since the script has yet to be completed by Wingard and Barrett, but there one thing Wingard aims to fix with his sequel. Many fans of the original have long pointed out that in the movie when Archer (Travolta) and Troy (Cage) swap faces, their bodies remain the same. Of course, back then, special effects were far behind what moviemakers have at their disposal today, which is what Wingard touched on. “We try to address that in this film, because also this is over 20 years later from the first movie.” He said to Uproxx. “So, technology in terms of what in the Face/Off world they can do has advanced, and those kinds of things. So, we try to make sure that when the stuff comes up, that we’re checking those boxes and making sure that’s addressed. But at the end of the day, it’s like… Yeah, that’s all I’ll say about that, because it’s one of the things. I don’t want to give anything too much away, too early.”
Agreed. Way too early to delve into a plot that hasn’t been worked out.
FACING OFF THE FIRST TIME
John Woo made his American feature film director’s debut with the 1997 Nic Cage/John Travolta movie. Travolta played FBI Agent Archer while Cage was terrorist Troy. When Archer survives an assassination attempt by Troy, Archer’s vendetta begins when the bullet meant to kill him actually goes through him, killing his son instead.
Fast forward six years and Archer has Troy in his sights. Troy teases Archer telling him about a bomb that is set to go off in Los Angeles in a few days but before Archer can get the whereabouts of the bomb, Troy is knocked into a coma. After it is confirmed that the bomb is real by one of Troy’s partners, Archer is convinced by his to undergo the highly experimental face transplant procedure that will give Archer Troy’s face so he can then go undercover as Troy to find out where the bomb is located.
He does, but soon the real Troy comes out of his coma where he also finds out that Archer now has his face. He forces the doctor who created the face transplant to do the same to him, giving Troy Archer’s face. After the procedure, Troy-now-Archer kills all involved. Troy plans to take over Archer’s life.
Story aside, the true joy of this movie is watching John Travolta become Nic Cage with all of Cage’s mannerisms and vice versa. They both could be considered tour-de-force performances as they mimic each other amazingly well.
THAT ONE SMALL DETAIL
If you haven’t seen the first Face/Off movie, you may want to skip this next brief part as a big SPOILER is on the way. Another question that Wingard and Barrett will have to iron out in Face/Off 2 will be how, exactly, will Nic Cage’s Troy come back? Impaled by a spear gun and dying is how he met his maker, so figuring out his resurrection will be paramount in bringing the two face-to-face one more time.
FUN AND GAMES
When it was first broached, the idea of Face/Off 2 was just that. New. A remake and not a continuation. In fact, the rumor going around town was that “sworn enemies” Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds were circling a possible movie. Jackman was conducting an interview on Sirius XM when host Julia Cunningham poised the Face/Off question if the two would be up for it. In famous Jackman form, he answered in kind, “I have not heard that. Is it possible to shoot it where we are actually never together? Is that possible?”
While the thought of Jackman and Reynolds starring together in another movie is a fun one, Face/Off 2 is most definitely a Nic Cage and John Travolta film. Wingard seems to think so and with his star on the rise, it looks like Cage and Travolta will be joining in.