It’s clear that no one in the future has decided to use time travel as a method of guaranteeing that only quality films come out of Hollywood. Even if a cursory glance at a theater marquee didn’t convey that clearly enough, the sheer existence of Universal’s upcoming Timecop reboot makes that painfully obvious. To tell this story of time crimes, the studio has hired screenwriting cousins Brian and Mark Gunn, best known for writing Brad Peyton’s comedic adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Not exactly the duo you expect to get the job, but if they use their connections to get Dwayne Johnson to fill the shoes once worn by Jean-Claude Van Damme, I’ll start talking about this movie without this sneer on my face.
It’s unclear which story the Gunns will tell, however. Timecop‘s origins lie in the first three issues of the plainly titled anthology Dark Horse Comics, published in 1992, under the name “A Man Out of Time.” This story, created by Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson and writer Mark Verheiden, followed a man who captures a time traveler intent on robbing a diamond mine in the 1930, but doesn’t know until it’s too late that the thief’s robotic assistant was left in the past, causing all kinds of time line problems.
Verheiden and Richardson also wrote the screenplay for Peter Hyams’ 1994 feature, set in the same universe, but with a completely different story of a politician (Ron Silver) who goes back in time to help his career. It was (and still is) Van Damme’s highest grossing film. And though it isn’t a legit classic by any means, it’s a decent flick with some imaginative things going on. Plus, there’s the anticipation of waiting to see whether or not the two Van Dammes would accidentally hug each other and explode. (You know you want to watch the trailer now.)
THR reports this new version won’t be as blatantly sci-fi as the first film, and will be more of a gritty police thriller built on genre principles. Given how seamless the doubled-up CGI shots are on the BBC America clone thriller Orphan Black, we’re likely in for a much better looking movie this time around. It all sounds similar to Rian Johnson’s Looper, but we hope the Gunns leave out the characters meeting themselves at different ages.
Mark Shmuger, who was behind We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks and The Spectacular Now, will produce the picture through his Global Produce imprint. It isn’t clear if Verheiden—who also wrote the two-part comic adaptation of the film—will be involved, though Richardson is on board as an executive producer. We’ll probably see more from the Gunns by the time this comes out, as they have a third Journey film in the works, as well as reboots of MacGyver and The Monster Squad. So you see, Timecop isn’t the only thing we have to worry about.