John Woo Directing His First Comic Book Movie

July 17, 2008


Filmmaker John Woo has been hired to direct an adaptation of the upcoming comic book Caliber that will debut next week at Comic-Con. The comic story sets King Arthur and his knights as 19th century gunslingers in the Pacific Northwest. Apparently this one necessarily be Woo's next film, since he's finish up work on his two-part epic Red Cliff and has other projects lined up afterwards, including a film titled 1949. Woo has been criticized quite a bit here on the site, as he's one of the few directors who I genuinely hate. This project sounds like one of the worst he's planning to take on, similar to Paycheck, another disastrous film that he directed. Does anyone think Caliber could be any good?

There's not much out there on this Caliber comic yet and that's because Radical Comics is launching the first issue at Comic-Con. So the comic has no buzz, a terrible concept, and they just brought on one of the worst action directors still working today - this sounds destined to be an instant flop. I'm already predicting, four or five years out, that this is going no where at all. American audiences really don't want to see the King Arthur legend told as a 19th century western, especially after The Dark Knight changes the way everyone looks at comic book movies. I really hope John Woo retires much sooner than later, because I don't want him making flops like this anymore and wasting my time. However, you're more than welcome to read up on the comic over at the publisher's official website:

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Oh yeah, I forgot about your Woo-hate. Dude, you have GOT to check out his earlier work, before Hollywood got into his veins.

kevjohn on Jul 17, 2008


I really like John Woo! I think he's one of the few innovative directors working today that has served as a reference point for many action directors to emulate. Flicks like "Wanted", "Shoot 'em Up", all Michael Bay movies, the Matrix trilogy--Nicolas Cage's upcoming "Bangkok Dangerous" all demonstrate cutting edge techniques like freeze frame within action scene, bullet-tracking(not bullet time), fade in/outs, slow-mo action, etc that John Woo introduced in the early 90s. Ever since I saw Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Hard Target" in 1993, I noticed more and more directors, especially the new directors borrow a few of his story-telling techniques even emulate him with such elaborate action sequences culminating into homage after homage. I agree that "Paycheck" wasn't too good--except for great supporting roles from the likes of: Paul Giamatti, Aaron Eckhart, and Uma Thurman. Like him or hate him (all opinions are valid) "Hard Target", "Face/Off", "Windtalkers"--even "Mission Impossible 2" (Cruise's most successful "mission), not to mention his foreign flicks like "Hard Boiled" etc. benefited from his direction and still measure up to these modern flicks of today. Whereas I classify Guillermo del Toro as visionary, I classify John Woo as innovative!! This is my opinion!! 🙂

Spider on Jul 17, 2008


That's right Spider! I agree! Ditto that #1. Especially his earlier work from China. American films like: Hard Target, Face/Off, and Windtalkers work as well, if not better than most of the modern actioners!!

Pickle on Jul 17, 2008


Sorry to correct you but Caliber has three issues out already. The first issue launched in April.

Jack M. on Jul 17, 2008


Hey Alex, I really don't like how you criticize directors for their work in movies. I mean, i don't understand how someone who runs a movie site can tell someone who makes movies how bad they do their job. I enjoy all movies, no matter who directs, and im not going to base my decision on movies by the director. so i would appreciate if you just keep you opinions about people to you, cause i dont come here to read about what you think, just awesome news on awesome new movies. thank you.

Ck on Jul 17, 2008


Face/Off and Hard Boiled are absolutely fantastic!! Maybe you should retire!!

John on Jul 17, 2008


Sounds great to me, it's been a while sence I've seen a western, and a John Woo western could be really good. Plus I live in the Pacific North West and know a little bit about the history- there is some neat stuff that could be done with it.

Staatz on Jul 17, 2008


John Woo is amazing. There's a reason Quentin Tarantino was inspired so much by Woo. He really knows how to direct action movies. And this King Arthur adaptation sounds pretty wicked. The poster should stray form saying "American audiences," and keep his hate to himself. I really don't get the comparison to the Dark is a western and one is Batman...

Joshua on Jul 17, 2008


I agree with you Joshua, this is really more of a western and not a 'super hero' movie. Like movies, comic books have different genre’s too- crime, super hero, western, horror, comedy.... they cross sometimes but these two movies have little to do with each other aside from similar source *mediums* (not to be confused with similar source *genres*) and the fact that they both will have some action scenes. I know you love The Dark Knight, and I'm sure I'll love it too, but not everyone’s world revolves around it.

Staatz on Jul 17, 2008


I've read the first 3 issues of Caliber because the concept intrigued me. It's been pretty good so far and would be interested to see a film adaptation of, although idk if I'd wanna see Woo take it on.

Nick on Jul 17, 2008


Face Off, Hard-Boiled + tons of Hong Kong action flicks that inspired many of the best directors today. Yes I totally see where the hate comes from.

Shige on Jul 17, 2008


Alex, have you seen his Hong Kong movies? You should if you want your opinions about him to be taken seriously.

Samm on Jul 17, 2008


Hard Boiled, The Killer, A Better Tomorrow, Face Off, and Broken Arrow are some of my favorite pure action movies of all time. If you can appreciate the style of Woo, you can overlook some quirky performances from his actors and enjoy his films for what they are, visual ballets of violence.

Fatal Error on Jul 17, 2008


Yeah it is next to impossible to hate John Woo..many directors slump..and I won't lie John Woo is in a very bad way..but come on its not like he has been one of the most influential action directors of our day...oh wait thats right he is. Check out how many movies pretty much copy his style..his camera work. Heck Hard Boiled is one of the most copied movies of all time in my opinion.

Kyle A. Koyote on Jul 17, 2008


Ditto to all the above comments. Alex it's obvious that you have no idea what you're talking about here, John Woo one of the worst action director still working today??? I agree that some of his previous movies hasn't been the greatest, but come on... the worst action director? By far this is the worst and off comment you've made!

Omega728 on Jul 17, 2008


Wow! All this coming from the guy who thinks Watchmen will be amazing? All crediblity has left this website. Damn...I kinda liked it too

j ratz on Jul 17, 2008


didnt woo directed a film with chun yun fat or whatever his name is, well whatever cause that film kicked some ass. Please tell me the name of that film.

Darrin on Jul 17, 2008


Woo directed Chow Yun-Fat in The Killer (, Hard Boiled (, A Better Tomorrow (, and I think a couple others. All of these films are gritty action classics and are almost certainly better than Max Payne, and a few other movies I could name, has any hope of being. Even as great as this year will be for film when all is said and done, there's very little coming out these days that will surpass these pre-CGI classics. You guys need to chill out though. Woo has only made one legitimately entertaining film in 10 years, MI:2, and I can certainly understand someone not caring for that, Face/Off, or Broken Arrow very much. But he's going to have to make a few absolutely terrible movies to wrestle that worst action director title away from Michael "One Man Armageddon" Bay's steely grip. Not to mention lesser directors like McG, Brett Ratner, Renny Harlin, and the master himself, Uwe Boll.

kevjohn on Jul 17, 2008


One of John Woo's influences was Sam Peckinpah. So yes I would like to see a JW western.

Dave on Jul 17, 2008


Total agreement with everyone. Woo was a master. He carved an entirely new niche in the action genre and inspired countless directors. He reinvented the concept of action - that's no mean feat! I think Alex has now realised this (probably went off to watch Hard Boiled and is still sitting in front of the TV with his mouth open). Probably why he hasn't commented in the thread!

Mrbobbyboy on Jul 18, 2008


Often times the harshest ctritics are the ones that are jealous. Those who can, do. Those who can't, bitch like crazy then change their minds later because they realized that they themselves suck ass and try to save face. Transformers, need I say more? He hasn't posted because he's busy removing the foot from his mouth, and the thing that crawled up his ass.

that guy on Jul 18, 2008


Doesn't anyone think this looks like a ripoff of the Dark Tower series.

Irish03 on Jul 18, 2008


Woo should try to write his own movies again. The Killer and Better Off Tomorrow 1 and 2 are great films. Both on the action side because they used great choregraphed action scenes without any use of CGi, and his stories were very poetic and edited in a cool way showing comparisons from characters and from past to present. The only good movie he's made here is Face Off, because it had a really good (far fetched I know) idea, that was at least unique. His movies now have too much CGI and aren't good. He needs to get back to his roots and write. Though I still feel he's one of the best action directors ever. Any scene in a movie where two characters are holding a gun in that certain way, totally influenced by him. Give Woo a break!

Ken on Jul 19, 2008


Make that A Better Tomorrow.

Ken on Jul 19, 2008

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