To most of us in the UK, Remo Williams is a single cheesy action movie from the mid-80s: Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous. But in the States it's a massive franchise of paperback novels, and Charles Roven and Steve Chasman, producers, respectively, of The Dark Knight and the Transporter films, are aiming to bring Remo back. THR's Risky Business blog reports that the project is being set up between Columbia and Sony.
Incredibly there are, to date, about 150 novels in the Destroyer series, which was begun in the early 70s by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, and continued by multiple authors.
The overall concept is that Remo Williams, a cop from Newark, is framed and sentenced to death, and then rescued and turned into a super ninja spy by a secret society begun by President Kennedy. A bit like Torchwood but without the aliens. He is trained in a mental invented martial art called Sinanju by the Mr Miyagi character Chiun, earning the ability to dodge bullets and walk on sand without leaving footprints.
The original film starred hunky Fred Ward as Remo and Joel Grey (the creepy MC from Cabaret) as Chiun. Captain Janeway was in it too. The director, fittingly given the Bond-ish potential of the series, was Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Live and Let Die).
It was daft but a lot of fun, and had a cliffhanging setpiece on an extremely fake looking Statue of Liberty. The American title was The Adventure Begins, which was a tad unfortunate since the series never went anywhere. There was a TV pilot in the late 80s, but it wasn't picked up.
But "daft but a lot of fun" is, of course, exactly how the Transporter series works, meaning that Steve Chasman would seem to have entirely the right sensibility to bring this off. Clearly there's enormous franchise potential, and the excuse for a lot of truly ridiculous martial arts.
Is there anything better than a lot of truly ridiculous martial arts?