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Silent Night - What We Know So Far

Fans of acclaimed director John Woo ("A Better Tomorrow," "Face/Off") received some excellent news this October when Deadline announced that Woo would be returning to the U.S. action film market. Woo most recently directed 2017's "Manhunt" based on the book by writer Jukô Nishimura, and was behind 2008's award-winning "Red Cliff" (via IMDb), but his newest film "Silent Night" marks the first time the international artist will direct a U.S. film since 2003's "Paycheck," starring Ben Affleck

As Deadline reports, the script was written by Robert Lynn, who wrote and directed 2007's "Adrenaline." Currently, the studio behind 2019's "The Courier," Capstone, is leading the charge to finance the film. The most exciting part about the film is that, as the title alludes to, the story will unfold without any assistance from verbal dialogue. In other words, it will actually be silent. So, when can we expect to see the "Mission: Impossible II" director bring Lynn's vision to life, and who will star in Woo's hotly anticipated return to the U.S. film scene? 

What is the release date of Silent Night?

A release date has yet to be announced or even hinted at for "Silent Night," as it still has some casting to do and rows of ducks to line up before shooting can begin. One of Woo's most famous U.S. films, "Face/Off," was conceived nearly a decade before it finally hit theaters and is a shining example of all the various trials and tribulations that a project can go through while in pre-production (via Writer Super Center). That said, many of the issues, uh, faced, by "Face/Off" have (for now at least) been avoided. Woo is officially on board to direct and the main protagonist has already been cast. 

Audiences and outlets should know more once Capstone finishes its negotiations to finance the film, and its team of heavy-hitter producers and overseers can set to work casting and shooting the film. Best case scenario, it's possible fans could expect to see the film sometime in 2023.

Who will star in Silent Night?

While most of the cast of "Silent Night" has yet to be determined, much less announced, one thing we do know is that Joel Kinnaman will star. As Deadline reports, the "House of Cards," "Hanna" and "The Suicide Squad" actor was tapped to play the silent film's protagonist. Fresh off the success of James Gunn's lauded rejuvenation of 2016's "Suicide Squad," the actor's attachment to the project will no doubt prove beneficial. 

While we may not know just who'll star alongside the actor in "Silent Night," we do know some of the faces operating behind the scenes. Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christian Mercuri, and Lori Tilkin will co-produce, while Joe Gatta will oversee alongside Capstone's Ruzanna Kegeyan (via Deadline). Mercuri was an executive producer on Capstone's "The Courier," while Lori Tilkin is a long-time collaborator with Woo, having worked on "Face/Off," "Red Cliff," and "Broken Arrow". Finally, Iwanyk and Lee were behind both "Sicario" and the "John Wick" franchise. Suffice it to say, in addition to Woo, "Silent Night" will boast some seriously experienced action movie veterans.  

What is Silent Night about?

As Deadline reports, "Silent Night" will reimagine a relatively well-worn tale by distilling it into its most essential components, which apparently does not include audible dialogue. In an effort to avenge his young son's death, a "normal father" (Kinnaman) will venture into the underworld. For now, that's about all we know about the plot, but if Woo's previous themes are any sign of what's to come in "Silent Night," there's a few things audiences can likely look forward to in the silent film. 

"My characters have a code of honor and loyalty," the Hollywood and Hong Kong director told Bright Lights following the success of "A Better Tomorrow," adding that "Life is so precious, and I want to show this. My kind of hero is chivalrous. Asian or western, these ideas can be understood...My hero possesses these qualities but he is always misunderstood." If Kinnaman's character is at all in keeping with Woo's typical approach, audiences are likely to find themselves rooting for a flawed hero who's able to maintain his humanity in a world of crime and violence, despite having the odds stacked firmly against him.