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BANGKOK DANGEROUS

About The Production
"No one knows who I am. No one knows where I am.” — JOE

In 2005, while preparing to work with Hong Kong-based filmmakers Oxide and Danny Pang on their first English language film, The Messengers, producers William Sherak and Jason Shuman decided to screen the rising stars' entire body of work. They were bowled over by what they saw.

One film in particular fascinated Sherak and Shuman: the original Thai language film Bangkok Dangerous. A dark and surprising thriller about a deaf mute hitman and his apprentice, Bangkok Dangerous was released in 1999 to international critical acclaim and had appeared at a number of international film festivals, even winning the International Critics Award (FIPRESCI) at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival

Sherak says he and his partner knew immediately the film would translate brilliantly to an English-language remake. "We became big fans of the original Bangkok Dangerous. As we got to be friends with the Pangs, Jason and I told them we thought it was a really interesting story that should be remade in English.”

For their parts, the Pangs were equally intrigued. Identical twins born in Hong Kong, the brothers have made several cult favorite films including The Eye, a supernatural thriller recently remade in English starring Jessica Alba.

This time, however, the Pangs were being offered a rare opportunity to recreate their own film. "We thought it would be an interesting challenge to update the concept after more than six years,” says Oxide Pang. "We were able to take the same concept, the same idea, refine it considerably and bring it to a bigger audience.”

To adapt the original film, Sherak and Shuman brought on Jason Richman, writer of the 2002 action comedy Bad Company, starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. In addition to updating the story, the producers wanted to make sure that Richman captured an accurate picture of Thai culture, so they arranged for him to spend time in Bangkok and experience it first-hand.

"We came out to Thailand for about a week to do a research trip,” Richman remembers. "Once we were there, the script came to me very fast. It certainly didn't take as long as usual. I think the opportunity to meet the people and to experience the city beyond all the usual tourist locations gave me much of the inspiration I needed.

"The time I spent there was instrumental in opening my eyes to how beautiful the people and culture are in Thailand. Coupling the peaceful nature of the country and the actions of a killer for hire was a wonderful exercise for me,” he says. The producers were delighted with the script. "It's a very simple story told very well,” says Sherak. "Nowadays, we see movies that have such complicated plots that we lose much of the characterization. What Jason did was simplify the plot so the audience can focus on these interesting characters and their lives while still enjoying the thrills of the plot.”

The Pang Brothers were pleasantly surprised by the streamlined development process. "I had heard that normally there are multiple writers involved with Hollywood scripts,” says Danny. "Jason took this one from the first draft to the final draft and brought us a no nonsense script that was true to the original movie.”

From the project's inception, Richman, Sherak and Shuman felt there was only one actor who could do justice to the role of Joe. "We had Nicolas Cage in mind for Joe while we were developing the script,” says Sherak. "The character of Joe does not have a lot of dialogue, so we needed an actor who could use his aura and inner life to convey emotions. Nic is perfect for that.”

Cage, an aficionado of Asian cinema who had worked with Hong Kong action maestro John Woo on the hit film Face/Off, was already an admirer of the Pang Brothers' work in general and of Bangkok Dangerous in particul

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