Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TV Lures Woo for Remake of "Once a Thief"

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TV Lures Woo for Remake of "Once a Thief"

Article excerpt

When Hong Kong film director John Woo was lured to Hollywood to make 1993's "Hard Target," he had no idea how much he had to learn.

"Hard Target" starred Jean-Claude Van Damme, a fitting star for Woo's first American film. Considered the master of the Hong Kong gangster movie, Woo had launched the careers of Jackie Chan and another of Asia's big stars, Chow Yun-Fat.

But making a film in Hollywood meant dealing with months of meetings with studio executives, and Woo was used to the Hong Kong way: deliver the print on the due date and watch it become a blockbuster. Regardless, he stuck around to make this year's "Broken Arrow" starring John Travolta. And Sunday night on Fox, Woo tries television, with his own remake of a 1991 Chinese film, "Once a Thief," which Fox is calling a mid-season pilot. "I'm very excited," said Woo. "After I made the pilot, I fell in love with television. So I would be a producer, and if I have time, I would direct some of the episodes, because I really love this project." "Once a Thief" centers on Li Ann Tsei (Sandrine Holt), who was raised as a thief in a wealthy Hong Kong gangster family. Tired of her profession, she flees to Vancouver, B.C., and signs up with Interpol. Two men who love her are also recruited, her adopted sibling Mac (Ivan Sergei) and former street cop Victor (Nicholas Lea). These three make up a pod of secret agents who fight organized crime creeping in from Asia. Conflict arises when they realize that the real son of the head of the crooked Tang family (Michael Wong), who raised both Li Ann and Mac, plans to launch a gun-smuggling business into Canada. Woo said this is similar to his film version, but is more focused on the love triangle. "This pilot is a lot more fun than the feature film," h e said. "The action is pretty much the same. …

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