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John Woo Returns To Direct ‘Day Of The Beast’

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Europe

“Where has John Woo been?” is a question that we’re sure you’ve been asking friends and family on a weekly basis ever since the famous action director’s last American movie in 2003. Now the Wooster returns to crow again with an English-language remake of a classic 1963 Japanese gangster movie.

Woo has been attached to direct ‘Day of the Beast,’ a remake of the 1963 movie ‘Youth of the Beast.’ Woo is best known in America for his action films ‘Face/Off’ and ‘Mission Impossible II.’ He’s been out of the Hollywood spotlight since 2003′s ‘Paycheck,’ which it makes it almost a decade since the dove-loving director made an English language film. In the interim he directed ‘Red Cliff’ in Hong Kong, but the five hour, two-part saga was given a shorned and limited domestic release (though an uncut version was put out on home video).

A press release was sent out about the announcement. ‘Day of the Beast’ is the story of “a western outsider with a grim past as he becomes embroiled in a global turf war between a vicious new breed of Yakuza and old school Cold War Russian mobsters. It’s an action-packed saga of loyalty, revenge and redemption which erupts in the heart of Tokyo.”

Take a look at the press release below.

May 16, 2012 –– John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions and Nikkatsu Corporation will co-produce DAY OF THE BEAST, a remake of Seijun Suzuki’s 1963 classic Youth of the Beast centering on the dealings of Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Woo (Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off) will direct and produce the script by Rob Frisbee along with Terence Chang, and Nikkatsu’s Naoki Sato. Lori Tilkin, Aki Sugihara and Yoko Asakura are executive producing. The English language production was announced as Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest major movie studio, celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.

John Woo said, “This remake is my salute to the great films and filmmakers produced by Nikkatsu’s 100 years in cinema history. It is exciting for me as well as an honor.”

Nikkatsu president Naoki Sato said, “Among Nikkatsu’s 6,000+ film library, this is one of our most revered titles. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Woo and are excited he is directing this film for the international market. We think this is a great way to start off the next 100 years of filmmaking history!”

Lion Rock’s Terence Chang said, “Seijun Suzuki’s Youth of the Beast is one of my favorite films, and I have been obsessed with remaking it for over 10 years! I have to thank Nikkatsu for this partnership and for making this dream come true!”

DAY OF THE BEAST follows a western outsider with a grim past as he becomes embroiled in a global turf war between a vicious new breed of Yakuza and old school Cold War Russian mobsters. It’s an action-packed saga of loyalty, revenge and redemption which erupts in the heart of Tokyo.

No word on casting but we’ll let you know the moment Jason Statham has signed on.

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