Filmmaker John Woo’s 1997 action blockbuster Face/Off has become a cult classic in recent times. The movie’s story of a cop and a criminal, Sean Archer and Castor Troy swapping identities by surgically interchanging their faces is often cited as one of the most bizarre premises in the history of Hollywood. With the upcoming Face/Off 2 being helmed by Adam Wingard, expect the action to be kicked up a notch. But the story will still revolve around Sean and Castor’s personal lives, as Wingard recently confirmed to Deadline.
“I’m going to do the next available thing, quickly. Maybe that’s Face/Off 2. When I look at Face/Off, some people have said if you are going to follow that film, it’s about the operation, a sci-fi gimmick. To me, that’s now what it is. It’s part of it and is what makes it so unique and fun. But the story is really about the characters. Sean Archer and Castor Troy. The film is a follow-up to their story, and what it entails.”
While the purpose of Sci-Fi is to imagine new technologies without worrying about their basis in fact, the face-swap tech from Face/Off is often criticized for taking too many liberties with how human bodies work. After all, wearing someone else’s face won’t change your voice or your body type to mimic theirs as well. In a previous interview with UPROXX, Adam Wingard had hinted that an attempt will be made this time around to address the mechanics of face-swapping in a more convincing manner.
“There’s always a couple of ways you can approach these kinds of things… We try to address that in this film, because also this is over 20 years later from the first movie. 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.”
Of course, what audiences ultimately want from a movie like Face/Off is a fun time in the theater, rather than getting bogged down by the internal logic of the story. To that end, the performances of the lead actors will probably affect the reception to the Face/Off sequel more than how they choose to present the face-swap process.
It remains to be seen whether Travolta and Cage as Sean Archer and Castor Troy will be the main leads of the upcoming film, or whether new, younger leads will be used in their place. One thing that fans of the original will no doubt miss will be the deft, experienced hand of John Woo in the director’s chair, which was a significant reason for the commercial success of the original Face/Off. The director’s first quote comes from Deadline, while the second quote comes from Uproxx.