Somewhere in the multiverse there’s a universe in which nobody cares about multiverses. According to our trusted and proven sources, however, in this timeline, the concept of parallel realities has proven popular enough to green-light a reboot of 2001’s sci-fi action flop The One. They also tell us Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin is attached to direct the revival, and that Sony is giving the film a $200 million budget.
We’ve exclusively learned Sony has recruited Justin Lin to direct a reboot of 2001’s The One, supported by a massive budget of $200 million.
If you’re not familiar with The One, then you’re not alone. The sci-fi action film was an early attempt by Jet Li to prove his leading man potential to Western audiences, but sadly it didn’t perform particularly well at the box office. Judging by its 13 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes — tying it with 2007’s War for the title of Li’s most critically panned film — reviewers liked it even less than audiences did.
What doubtless renders The One an attractive property to reboot in Sony’s eyes in spite of the original’s poor performance is the way the plot deals with alternate realities; a concept which continues to gain steam in pop culture. Considering the $690 million Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse made this year for Sony, the studio’s enthusiasm for other multiverse stories is understandable.
In spite of its critical and commercial failures, The One was notable for a number of reasons. Not only was it an early Jet Li leading role in a Western feature, it was his very first collaboration with Jason Statham, who he later worked with in War and in the first three entries in The Expendables franchise. It was likewise one of Statham’s earliest big releases, coming out the year after Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and the year before his career-changing lead in The Transporter.
The Story Of The One
The One was ahead of its time in terms of movies dealing with multiverses. Li plays both the hero and the chief antagonist of the film.
He plays former Multiverse Authority (MVA) Agent Gabriel Yulaw, who is traveling from one universe to the next and killing alternate versions of himself in the belief that wiping out all of his variants will give him godlike powers. At the same time, Li plays LA County Deputy Sheriff Gabe Law, who teams up with MVA Agent Evan Funsch (Statham) to track down his murderous counterpart.
Judging by its 13 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes — making The One tied with 2007’s War for the title of Li’s most critically panned film — reviewers liked it even less.
All told, Jet Li plays nine versions of his character in the feature. Unlike adaptations from Marvel and DC Comics — which usually gives each universe a numbered name (e.g. Earth-616) — in The One each universe gets its own title, like the Anubis Universe or the Monoceros Universe.
As of yet, we don’t have any word on any of the other talent attached to Sony’s The One reboot, including whether or not Justin Lin hopes to bring back either Li and/or Statham. Once we know more, we’ll make sure you know.