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John Woo Says Lupita Nyong’o No Longer Attached To ‘The Killer’ Remake, Talks ‘Face/Off’ Reboot, Chimes In On Superhero Movie Debate

There is good news and bad news about John Woo’s forthcoming remake of his 1989 crime drama The Killer. The good news is that it’s still being made. The bad news is that Lupita Nyong’o is no longer attached to the project. The iconic director shared the news about Nyong’o leaving the project with Deadline at the Hawaii International Film Festival, where he was receiving the festival’s Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award.

“There was a scheduling problem because she’s so popular right now!” said Woo about Nyong’o’s exit. “We rewrote the script and it took so much time…she had to leave for another project.”

Deadline initially broke the news that Nyong’o was going to star in the film at Universal, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. It is unfortunate that the Us star had to drop out as many were looking forward to seeing her in the gender-flipped take on the classic starring Chow Yun-fat. Woo said that they are moving on and the lead is still going to be a woman.

“The biggest reason why I wanted to do this movie again because [I wanted] ‘the killer’ to be a woman — that’s exciting to me,” said Woo. “It will make the movie have a different look.”

Woo explains that he has seen many female action stars and felt that there was soul missing from their performances. He wanted to create a complex female action star that just doesn’t just fight well but wanted to bring a prominent element of emotion and humanity to the role.

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