Another week, another guilty pleasure from my youth. Sony Pictures has tapped Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) to direct a revival of “The Destroyer” franchise of pulp action novels, with the script written by Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and James Mullaney – one of the writers of The Destroyer series.
The series revolves around Remo Williams, a cop from Newark, New Jersey, who is sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. However, the execution is faked and Williams is instead recruited into a secret government organisation known as CURE to be an assassin; where he is trained by Chiun, the last master of a deadly martial art style known as Sinanju. Williams proceeds to thwart the plans of numerous criminals, mad scientists and various other super human foes. For example: Mr Gordons, a shapeshifting NASA-created android with limited emotional capabilities and Dr Judith Loftus, a scientist specialising in genetic engineering who has the ability to turn into a weretiger (thanks Wikipedia!). It really is as silly as it sounds but also a great deal of fun and Shane Black is a fantastic pick to deal with the blend of dark humour, silliness and action the series contains.
Created by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir and first published in 1971, the original series consists of 145 novels. It was adapted for the big screen in 1985 with Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins starring Fred Ward as Remo Williams and Joel Grey (in terrible Asian make-up) as Chiun and was intended to launch a franchise based on the novels. Despite being nominated for an Oscar, ironically for makeup, it flopped hard at the box office, only earning $14 million domestically off a $40 million budget and scrapping all franchise ideas in the process.
See the trailer below for pure 80’s action cheese, that really makes me want to watch it… again… sigh.
Last Updated: August 25, 2014