Face/Off premiered in theaters on June 27, 1997. Directed by John Woo, the movie made over $240 million on an $80 million budget. It starred John Travolta as an FBI agent named Sean Archer and Nicolas Cage as what Wikipedia describes as a “civil freelance terrorist and homicidal psychopath” named Castor Troy. The two of them swap faces and try to murder each other for two hours. Face/Off is a good movie.
But you knew that, because you’ve seen Face/Off. (You have seen Face/Off, yes? Dear Lord. Go watch Face/Off.) And there’s really nothing else I can say about the film that wasn’t said already and better in the episode the How Did This Get Made? podcast did on it. (You have listened to the How Did This Get Made? episode about Face/Off as well, yes? Dear Lord. Watch Face/Off then listen to it immediately after. This is important.) It was How Did This Get Made?, after all, that coined the term “face waterfall.” They’re the professionals here.
So what I bring to you instead of a look back at a goofy and insane action movie of the past is a look forward at a potentially goofier and more insane action movie of the future. One that picks up two decades after the first. One that pits Archer versus Troy once again. That’s right, people. I am saying exactly what you think I am saying…
The time has come to bring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta back for a Face/Off sequel.
My reasoning for why we should make a Face/Off sequel starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta is simple: Why shouldn’t we make a Face/Off sequel starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta? Are we worried about tarnishing its legacy? I don’t see how that’s even possible. We’re so far down the reboot/reimagining/sequel path at this point that we’d need GPS to find our way back. One more can’t possibly hurt. Hell, it could even be a good movie. Last year you probably heard “a Rocky sequel focusing on Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son” and rolled your eyes so hard they spun all the way around and left you looking back at your brain. But then Creed came out and it was awesome. Face/Off 2: The Faces Are Back Off (working title) could be good. And if we hurry up and start now, we can rush it out by next year for the 20th anniversary. Hashtag nostalgia.
And even if it’s not “good,” it would probably still be great. Face/Off was — and is — a ton of fun because it was loud bonkers nonsense where Cage and Travolta didn’t so much chew scenery as gorge on it. If you’re worried those two have lost their appetites since then, please allow me to direct your attention to every single movie Nicolas Cage has made since Face/Off was released and every single thing John Travolta is doing as Robert Shapiro on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story right now. You could make an argument — and I will if you ask me or if you don’t ask me but happen to be standing near me — that there has never been a better time for a Face/Off sequel starring these two.
The only potential sticking point is that, if we want to be very technical here, the first Face/Off ended with Castor Troy (wearing Travolta’s face) apparently dying after Sean Archer (wearing Cage’s face) kicked him in the nuts and shot him with a spear gun. But there are ways around this. Thought-dead characters come back all the time. They don’t even need to explain it, really. They could just have Sean Archer walk into his house 20 years later and be greeted by Castor Troy sitting on couch eating an apple and saying, “You thought I was dead… but I wasn’t.” That would be all the justification I need. Boom, we’re off.
Or maybe Castor Troy had a secret twin brother named… oh, I don’t know, Piston Troy, who was locked away in a secret Chinese prison for the last 25 years, just escaped, and now is determined to avenge his twin brother’s death. Or maybe Castor Troy is a ghost or zombie now. Or maybe he was immortal all along. I really must stress that I am willing to work with almost any thinly-explained logical leap necessary to make this a reality. Make him a Castor Troy from a parallel universe where everything is the same except people have tiny guns instead of fingers. See what I care.
My point is this: We can make this movie. We should make this movie. And really, all we need to do to make it happen is convince Travolta because Nicolas Cage will appear in anything. The guy has five movies streaming on Netflix right now that were released in 2014 or later, and you’ve probably never heard of at least three of them. He was on-board with 2 Face 2 Off (alternate title) before I had this idea. And how will we convince Travolta, you ask? Simple. We show him this poster.
This is an update of a previously published post.