When it comes to popcorn entertainment movies that require you to turn your brain off to enjoy them, 1997’s Face/Off starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta is one of the most notorious examples of the bunch. Despite the film’s cult status, fans have long questioned the logic of its story, which involves the two lead characters swapping their facial skin, which somehow also changes their voices and body types well enough to fool their families.
Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard, who will be helming Face/Off 2, hinted in an interview with UPROXX that the face-swap technology will be a lot more believable this time around.
“There’s always a couple of ways you can approach these kinds of things… We try to address that in this film, because also this is over 20 years later from the first movie. So technology in terms of what in the Face/Off world they can do has advanced, and those kinds of things. So we try to make sure that when the stuff comes up, that we’re checking those boxes and making sure that’s addressed. But at the end of the day, it’s like… Yeah, that’s all I’ll say about that, because it’s one of the things. I don’t want to give anything too much away, too early.”
Of course, if you’re getting hung up on the logistics of taking over somebody’s identity by swapping their face with yours, you’re not watching Face/Off correctly, a movie that contains what many fans agree to be Nicolas Cage’s peak “Nicolas Cage” performance in all its scenery-chewing glory, which John Travolta ably tries to match with his own brand of off-kilter charisma. According to Wingard, the trick with movies like Face/Off and Godzilla vs. Kong is to not get too hung up on the internal logic of it all.
“That’s the challenge with a film like Face/Off, because it’s such a heightened kind of film… It turned out that [the internal logic of Godzilla vs. Kong] just didn’t matter to people. That you show it to people and they’re like, “No, no, I get that. Why are the characters talking about it still? It’s boring.” And you’re just like, all right, cut it out. But on the page, it seems like this is so important, it has to be that way. And I think when I look at Face/Off, the original, the batting record for things they get away with versus what they don’t is probably one of the most impressive of any film I’ve seen.”
Considering the cult status of the original Face/Off, and the many memes and parodies it has spawned in recent years, Wingard will have to manage a delicate balancing act in the sequel of keeping to the serious tone of the original movie, while also acknowledging the readily-apparent ridiculousness of the basic premise that the franchise is based on. From his remarks, the filmmaker appears ready to meet the challenge head-on. This news originally appeared on Uproxx.