We can lie on our backs, screaming at the top of our lungs as we empty our pistols into the sky as much as we want, but Alcon Entertainment’s planned remake of Point Break, Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 cult classic bromantic action flick, is going ahead. But if you’re worried that they’re going to be pulling a Gus Van Sant Psycho and just lazily redo what came before, you’re in for a bit of a surprise.
According to an interview given to Collider by producer Broderick Johnson, besides for just retaining a few key elements from the original – such as the fact that undercover cop Johnny Utah (originally played by Keanu Reeves) still has to infiltrate a gang of adrenalin junkie criminals led by the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) who ends up befriending – they’re going to be taking a very different approach to this movie.
“The script only shares in common with the original the characters and the nature of the character dynamic between Utah and Bodhi and their relationship. Everything else about the movie is different. The narrative of the movie is different… What we found fascinating about the original film, and is preserved in this, is the character work and the relationship between Bodhi and Utah, who are these two gentleman on opposite of the law, but yet, at the same time, share a common bond. That’s the one element that the two movies share.”
“While we do have surfing in the film, it is only a subset of the extreme sports that we deal with, including free-climbing, motocross, wing-suiting and so forth. The movie is being shot in 10 countries across the globe. Kathryn Bigelow’s original movie was really ahead of its time for 1991, when it came out. That was really at the infancy of what extreme sports would become with the X-Games. This movie is on a much broader scale around the world, and the narrative of the movie is completely different.”
So with everything being “different” now, should we still expect to see those iconic Presidents masks used by Bohdi and his bank robbing crew in the original?
“Maybe. It’s tricky. We’ve thought about this a lot because the world of remaking movies, in truth, is a pretty risky proposition. A lot of them don’t work, as we have been regularly reminded. So, the question then becomes, “What’s the raison d’être for remaking a movie that wasn’t a giant hit, but is an iconic film that many people have seen?” I would argue that the difference is that the world in which a Point Break can exist today, as compared to almost 25 years ago, is profoundly different.”
A big part of that difference is that the stakes are higher, crazier, as adrenalin junkies like Bodhi’s surfer crew have pushed the envelope tremendously since the time of the the original Point Break. And that increase in scale provides a brand new opportunity for some new action.
“Then, it was a few guys surfing in the Santa Monica bay and robbing a couple of banks, as compared to what Jeb Corliss does or what these big wave surfers do today.
And the camera technology to be able to capture that, and not with green screen, of which we have virtually none in the movie, but in camera is not technology that existed 25 years ago. So, we felt that we truly could remake the movie in a completely unique and different way than the original film, and that’s why we’ve decided to do it.
But the character work in the original film, which ultimately sustains any movie, no matter how glorious the bells and whistles are, and the bromance is fascinating. That is a central part of our story, even though everything else about it is different.”
Johnson has revealed that the film’s shooting, specifically on capturing all the insane “no green screen” action, is already underway, but don’t expect any of the film’s stars – or even the stuntmen – to currently be involved in any of these early shoots across the globe, as it’s just too dangerous.
We’ve shot some extraordinary footage with our surfers. And we were in the Italian Alps with the greatest extreme snow boarders in the world, shooting footage. We’ve actually been in photography on the film, beginning our stunt work with our real athletes. This is a movie with a lot of stunts and no stunt people in it because the stunts are way too dangerous for people who are stunt people. We have real athletes who do this, like Jeb Corliss, who’s the greatest wing-suiter in the world. His team will be doing work for us, over the summer, in Switzerland with motocross. So in any event, principal photography starts in June. But the greatest footage we’ve ever gotten at Alcon is the second unit footage that we have gotten with these athletes and what they’ve done.”
Along with the Johnson’s details about the film’s narrative, tone and extreme nature, Variety is also reporting that Ray Winstone, fresh off trying to steal Russell Crowe’s boat in Noah, has joined the cast in the one outstanding principal cast role. Winstone will be playing Johnny Utah’s veteran FBI partner, played by Gary Busey in the original, and who figures out that the criminals they’re chasing are extreme sportsmen. Winstone is almost always solid in his roles, and could probably do this type of gritty, slightly unhinged lawman deal easily. My biggest question is how he feels about meatball subs.
He will be joining the already cast Luke Bracey as Johnny Utah and Gerard Butler as Bohdi. There’s no talk yet of any female romantic interest for Utah, played in the original by Lori Petty.
Point Break is helmed by Invincible director Ericson Core, is penned by Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Total Recall (remake), Law Abiding Citizen) and is scheduled to release approximately mid-2015.
Last Updated: April 8, 2014