Legendary filmmaker John Woo is returning to Hollywood for his first movie in the United States in nearly 20 years. The director of popular action movies like Hard Boiled and Face/Off, Woo has been working on features in Hong Kong in recent years. It has now been revealed that he will be directing a new U.S. action movie called Silent Night with Joel Kinnaman (The Suicide Squad) set to star in the lead role.
Woo is taking an interesting angle with Silent Night, as it will reportedly be a “loud action tale” that’s completely free of dialogue, but probably filled with gunshots, breaking glass, and other action movie racket. That of course means Woo will have to rely on his unique brand of visual storytelling to keep the viewers hooked on what’s happening from beginning to end. Joel Kinnaman will also have the task of using nothing but his movements and facial features to convey what needs to be said, but not out loud, with every scene.
Full plot details haven’t been revealed, but as a movie without dialogue, the story for Silent Night is said to be “basic.” Per Deadline, Joel Kinnaman stars as a “normal father” who heads into the criminal underworld to avenge the death of his young son. Additional casting is underway Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christian Mercuri, and Lori Tilkin are producing the feature. Capstone’s Ruzanna Kegeyan will oversee the project with Joe Gatta.
John Woo first made a name for himself with the international success of movies made in his native Hong Kong, including The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Bullet in the Head. He found greater fame in the United States when he headed to Hollywood to direct a handful of very successful action movies, notably including the John Travolta and Nicolas Cage classic Face/Off. Woo also directed titles like Broken Arrow, Mission: Impossible 2, and Windtalkers. He has since returned to Hong Kong and hasn’t made an American movie since 2003’s Paycheck with Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman.
Joel Kinnaman might be best known for his role as Rick Flag in the DCEU, first appearing in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad in 2016. He was one of the few actors to return for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad this year. He previously played Alex Murphy in the 2014 RoboCop reboot and had big roles on TV shows like The Killing and House of Cards. The actor has lately been starring as astronaut Ed Baldwin in the drama series For All Mankind on Apple TV+.
Meanwhile, Adam Wingard (Godzilla vs. Kong) recently signed on to direct an upcoming sequel to Face/Off. While this was initially reported as a reboot, Wingard has clarified that the idea is for it to be a direct sequel, ideally with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage both returning. The project is currently in the pre-production process with no firm release date. John Woo is not involved with the planned Face/Off sequel.
John Woo’s Silent Night doesn’t have a release date set, but the news of his return to Hollywood is bound to get a lot of filmgoers excited. This news was first reported by Deadline.