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The New Face/Off Movie Won't Be What You Think It Is

When Paramount announced in the fall of 2020 that it was making a new Face/Off, fans were left with lots of questions. Would John Travolta reprise his role as FBI agent Sean Archer, even just for a short cameo? Who would be replacing director John Woo, and could they be trusted to film slo-mo shots of birds in flight? Would it be a Face/Off reboot, sequel, or a Lion King 1 1/2-style "this is what was happening to side characters during the main movie" companion piece?

Some of our questions were answered when Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard signed on to direct and co-write the film. Wingard has experience working on franchises that seem preposterous on their face, like Godzilla and Death Note. As IGN reports, Wingard and his scripting partner Simon Barrett are close to finishing the script for Face/Off 2. "This is either going to be the definitive follow-up to that movie and everything that entails," Wingard said while participating in IGN Fan Fest 2021, "or I'm not going to make it, because everything's got to line up perfectly."

Face/Off 2 will not be a reboot

What shocked Fan Fest attendees most was the news that Wingard's Face/Off sequel would be just that, a direct sequel. "I would never make a remake of Face/Off. I would never make a reboot," he said. "And I've seen a lot of people, even after I said that this is a direct sequel, they keep calling it a reboot hybrid sequel or remake hybrid sequel. It's none of that."

But just what Wingard means by direct sequel isn't clear. A Face/Off sequel can't bring back both leads. Spoilers for a 24-year-old movie, but Nicolas Cage is dead at the end of Face/Off 1. Or does death even matter, when Face/Off's main premise is that anyone can look like anyone with the right surgery?

The real star of Face/Off is the premise: two megastars pretending to be each other. A direct sequel could resurrect Dr. Malcolm Walsh, played by Colm Feore. As the maestro behind the face-swapping tech, it's his story we're really following. Feore is busy playing former Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun on For All Mankind, but surely he can make room on his schedule.

Wingard is staying tight-lipped about what his direct sequel entails. "This is Face/Off 2," he said, "and I can't say what that means exactly." Wingard is putting pressure on himself to live up to the original film's greatness. Despite having a completely bonkers plot, Face/Off is regarded as one of the best action movies of all time.